There are many options for recycling domestic waste. Not only will you reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills but also, recycling and composting your household waste will help to minimize waste collection costs.
Many household items can be recycled. Recycling has many benefits, including a cleaner environment and the safe disposal of hazardous materials. It also raises awareness about excess packaging and encourages a cautious approach to the re-use and reuse of materials.
Many products have international recycling symbols which help identify whether they can be safely disposed of or reused. See ‘Recycling symbols’ below.
How do I recycle?
There are many ways to recycle your waste. It can be taken to a recycling center or used as a kerbside pick-up (if it is available). You can either compost it or use a kerbside pick-up for organic waste. See ‘Composting’ below. Bulky organic waste is accepted by many recycling facilities.
There are three types of permanent recycling facilities: bring banks, civic amenity sites, and recycling centers. Each year, most local authorities set up temporary collection points to collect Christmas trees. You can also find out what’s available in your area by visiting Repak or waste. ie. Or, you can contact your local authority.
Bring banks to provide unstaffed collection points to recycle materials such as glass bottles, drink cans, and food cans. Many bring banks to have bins that can be used to collect clothes that aren’t being worn.
Civic amenity websites can accept more items than traditional bring banks. They are purpose-built and are staffed with specific hours. They accept paper, cardboard, and plastic bottles, as well as food cans and food containers. They also accept Christmas trees and garden waste.
The staff at civic amenity websites can offer advice and information on recycling, and may even have home composting bins available for sale.
Recycling centers are staffed and gated. They have specific opening hours and accept a lesser variety of items than civic amenities sites. They generally do not accept bulky items. They can be found in pre-existing sites, such as depots of local authorities.
Staff can offer advice and information on recycling, and may even have home composting bins available for sale.
A collection from recyclable waste is commonly known as a “green bin” collection. Plastic bottles, glass bottles, and food tins are all recyclable materials.
Many areas have separate bin collections for organic and food waste. These are often called “brown bin” collections. Learn more at my waste. ie.
Composting refers to the process of breaking down organic material such as kitchen or garden waste, and converting it into an earth-like substance that can be used as a soil conditioner. Many garden wastes and kitchen wastes can be composted. Our document on composting. If you don’t have any organic materials, some civic facilities will accept them. You can also use the brown bin if it is available. Subsidized rates are often offered by local authorities for home composting bins.
What can I put in my recycle bin?
These materials can be put in your household waste recycling container:
Paper and card: Letters, Brochures, Cardboard Boxes (flattened), Egg boxes, Centres from Toilet Roll and Kitchen Roll, Newspapers, Tetra Pak cartons for juice and milk
Rigid Plastic (washed, dried): plastic beverage bottles, plastic cleaning containers, butter, yogurt, and salad tubs. plastic trays for fruits and vegetables. plastic milk containers. liquid soap bottles.
Soft plastic (washed, dried): frozen bags, bread wrappers, and plastic shopping bags; bubble wrap, crisp wrappers, and pasta bags; outer wrapping on the kitchen and toilet rolls; breakfast cereal bags
On the 6th of September 2021, plastics were added as an item that could be recycled in your recycling container. This is due to technological improvements at recycling facilities. This should increase Ireland’s recycling rate so that we can reach our national recycling goals.
Tins & Cans (washed & dried): Soup cans, pet food containers, drink cans, and food cans
All items must be dry, clean, and loosely placed in the recycle bin.
my waste.ie has more information about what can and cannot be put in your recycling bin.
What can I bring to a recycling facility?
Recycling facilities can accept a wide variety of items. You should check with your local recycling center to see what they accept.
Clean all materials to prevent contamination. Wash out yogurt pots, bottles, and cans. Before recycling. These are the most common items that are recycled.
Glass bottles and jars: Recycle lids/caps separately.
Paper (newspapers, magazines, telephone books, and office paper), as well as comics, light cardboard, junk mail, comics, and other publications.
Recycle items that are not recyclable
Porcelain and pottery, as well as ceramic tiles, are available.
Carpets, rugs, cushions, and mattresses.
Waxed or laminated papers, such as paper cups, are also available.
Many household products can be harmful to the environment. These include medications, aerosols and bulbs, fluorescent tubes, polishes, and adhesives as well as household cleaners and drain cleaners. They also contain solvents, weedkillers, fertilizers, and solvents. You can bring some of these items to a municipal amenity center, where they can either be recycled or disposed of. You can return pharmaceutical drugs, such as painkillers, medical waste (such as syringes and surgical gloves), and containers for prescription drugs to your local pharmacy. They will dispose of them properly. Mobile collections are organized by some local authorities, which allows hazardous waste to be collected at one central location. For more information, contact your local authority.
The Mobius loop, which is three arrows within a circle, is the most popular recycling symbol found on products and packaging. This indicates that the product is either recyclable or contains some recycled content.
The Green Dot is another common symbol. This pan-European symbol can be found on product packaging under license. The Green Dot does not signify that the packaging material is recyclable. The Green Dot is a symbol that a supplier is committed to the protection of the environment and funds the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.
Most recycling services offered to the public are free. Some items and large quantities may be charged by recycling centers or civic amenity centers. Check with your local center. You may be charged for kerbside collection. Check with your service provider.
What happens to the recycled items?
Lead acid batteries are used in cars, trucks, boats, and tractors. They are made from plastic and contain dilute sulfuric acid and lead. The batteries are broken down, the acid is drained and neutralized, and then the plastic and lead are compressed and bagged for recycling. Thermal recycling can be used to recycle button batteries (cameras and hearing aids, calculators, computers, etc.). Thermal recycling can also be used to recycle domestic rechargeable batteries, including mobile and cordless phones, cordless power tools, cordless appliances, and laptops. This reclaims the cadmium and nickel. Reclaimed cadmium can be used to make new batteries, while nickel and iron can be used to create stainless steel.