Recycling Bins Ireland: Simple Waste Management

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Image of a person using recycling bins

Recycling bins are a day-to-day fact of life that we generally wouldn't spare a thought towards in our daily routines. That is until something happens; maybe you have moved home and need to order some new ones, a bin might have gone missing, or you are unsure of what to do if your bin exceeds its limit. In this guide, we hope to give you guidance for the aspects that you are less certain of and need a hand pointing in the right direction.

How to request a recycling bin

Whether you are moving home, or just having a browse to see if you can get a better deal on your waste collection company, you will of course need to get yourself a recycling bin. The good news for you, is that these are provided at no extra cost by your waste collection company.

When searching for a waste collection company, they will generally offer several packages depending on their customer's needs. The main differences between these packages are:

  • Which bins are included (general waste, recycling, organic, glass)
  • The volume or capacity of the bins
  • The nature of the service (pay by weight, pay by lift, standard collection etc)
  • The package pricing

Once you have decided on a package and confirmed it with the provider, they will arrange for the delivery of your new recycling bins, and provide the appropriate guidance on how to use them, and their collection dates.

It is worth noting that some recycling bins may not be available in all areas. For example, household glass recycling bins are often not available in more rural areas, so alternate measures may need to be taken to dispose of these items. Remember to check on your local authorities website to check where you can dispose of recycling if necessary.

What types of recycling bins are there?

There are four primary types of recycling bin available to households; general waste, recycling, organic, and glass. Some municipalities may also offer a separate cardboard and paper bin, but with recycling plants getting better at separating recycling as it is processed, many suppliers are happy for both plastics and cardboard to go in the same recycling bin.

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If you live in an apartment or flat, it is much more common that you will have a communal bin area, in which case you of course wouldn't have individual wheelie bins. In these cases, you would still usually have the same recycling bin options, but it is best to acquire mini-bins so that you can separate your recycling in your home before making the trek downstairs to the communal bin area.

These mini-recycling bins don’t have to be specifically from your buildings waste supplier, as they are only for you to carry your recycling from your apartment to the communal bins. Mini-recycling bins can be acquired at most handy stores, or even sometimes for free by requesting one from your local authority or council.

What goes in my recycling bins?

What good is a recycling bin if you don't know what you can recycle? When you sign up with a waste collection firm, they will usually provide you with a simple guide or chart for your various recycling bins to make sure that you can efficiently use them.

Take care to adhere to this information closely, as there are penalties in place for those who consistently dispose of their refuse incorrectly. In 2005 penalties of up to fifteen million euros or upto 10 years imprisonment were introduced for commercial businesses relating to improper electrical recycling. Domestic suppliers like Greyhound have a team in place to inspect household bins and will levy a €30 charge for each instance of improper recycling segregation.

Waste suppliers recycling bin requirements may differ, it is wise to check with their specific requirements before filling your recycling bins up. As a rule, the majority conform to the details shown in the chart below.

General Recycling Compost/Organic Glass
Vacuum Cleaner Contents/Dust Newspapers/General Paper & Magazines Garden Waste (Unless Chemically Contaminated) Glass Bottles of any Colour
Broken Delph Cardboard Boxes & Packaging Dead Plants & Flowers Jars
Soiled Food Tin/Steel Cans Hedge Cuttings & Grass Trimmings Non-Food Bottles, e.g. Perfume, Aftershave etc
Unrecyclable Packaging Tetra-Pak Juice & Milk Cartons General Food Waste Without Packaging -
Contaminated Plastics & Polystyrene Plastic Bottles Coffee Grounds, Paper Filters & Teabags -
Plasters, Nappies etc Plastic Film/Soft & Rigid Plastics Cardboard & Paper if Soiled by Food -

What to do if your recycling bins are full or you have exceeded your collection limit

Depending on the waste disposal plan that you have selected, you may be restricted by annual or per-lift wheelie bin weight limits. As your recycling bins are weighed and recorded when their contents are loaded into the collection vehicle, when you exceed this amount, they may impose a penalty charge per kg over the agreed-upon maximum collection limit.

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If this is the case, then you have three options available to you.

  1. Accept and pay the penalty for over-filling your recycling bins
  2. Pay the penalty and enquire with your service provider if you can upgrade to a bin of greater capacity to suit your needs
  3. Utilize recycling or amenity centres to cut down on the volume of waste entering your recycling bins

Recycling and amenity centres are a great way to manage your waste disposal output throughout the month. These facilities are free to use, open to the public, and accept most forms of recycling. If you feel that you are reaching your waste disposal limit or your bins are full long before your collection date, a quick trip to one of these centres could well save you a few euros.

Take a browse through our simple waste disposal guide guide to find out more useful information on how to manage your refuse

Changing recycling bin size/package

Like we briefly mentioned above, with most providers, it is possible to upgrade your package or recycling bin size if needed. If you have a set six month or yearly plan, then a surcharge may be levied for the upgrade of service due to the service requirement also increasing. This would usually not be a great amount of money, but enough to cover the difference in packages with a potential administrative charge on top.

If you have recently moved home and are unsure about what your new waste output will be, some suppliers also offer single-month or rolling contracts. The benefit of taking one of these policies, is that you avoid committing to a service that may be insufficient or unnecessarily large, essentially putting money back in your bin. After you have gauged your output, you would then be able to make an informed decision on what long-term packages are best for your home.

Commercial recycling bins

As no two businesses are the same and requirements vary, many waste collection companies offer a free waste audit to measure your expenditure, offer advice on how to reduce your output, cut costs, and the volume of recycling bins or waste storage facilities for your site.

Many waste collection services such as Wiser Bins and Bord na Mona work both within the domestic and commercial sectors, so you may even be able to use the same company that you know and trust to handle your wheelie bins at home, for your bins at work.

Commercial recycling bins come in a wide range of sizes, starting at a modest 140L capacity, all the way up to the high volume 1100L bins. In addition to recycling bin services, many commercial suppliers also offer skip hire, confidential shredding and more. In order to get a quote and discuss your specific needs, you will need to contact the preferred service provider directly, as prices are not displayed for commercial customers on their websites.

The services and products mentioned on this website may only represent a small selection of the options available to you. Selectra encourages you to carry out your own research and seek advice if necessary before making any decisions. We may receive commission from selected partner providers on sales of some products and/or services mentioned within this website. Our website is free to use, and the commission we receive does not affect our opinion or the information we provide.