How to use the brown bin


Please Click on a Question below for more information:

What is a brown bin?
A brown bin is for the collection of all your household food waste.

The contents of the brown bin is brought by your waste
collector to a composting facility, where it is used to
produce a high quality compost.

Many waste collectors are providing householders with two
containers – a kitchen caddy to keep indoors for your convenience
and a larger bin to keep outdoors. The kitchen caddy is a small lidded bin for your kitchen to collect food waste.

When the caddy is full, empty it into the larger brown bin (usually 20 litres or 120 litres in size), which you keep outdoors.
You may be provided with one of these bin types, or both.

Can I put raw or cooked meat in my brown bin?

Yes. Any type of food waste can be placed in your
brown bin. See Question “What can I put in my brown bin?”
for a full list of materials.

Why should I use a brown bin?

It saves money because you become more aware of the
food you waste. The average family wastes €50 per month on discarded food. See for tips to reduce
food waste and is cheaper to use than your waste bin.

It's better for the environment because you are avoiding
sending food waste to a landfill where it produces harmful
greenhouse gases.

It produces a high quality compost

Recycling food waste is the Law. Failure to use the brown
bin may result in a fine being issued to you by your local authority.

What can I put in my brown bin?

You can put any of the following into your brown bin including:

> Raw or cooked food
> Meat, poultry & fish, including bones
> Leftover food from your plate & dishes
> Fruit & vegetables
> Tea bags, coffee grinds & paper filters
> Breads, cakes & biscuits
> Rice, pasta & cereals
> Dairy products (cheese, butter, yoghurt)
> Soups & sauces
> Eggs, egg shells & cardboard egg boxes
> Food soiled paper napkins, paper towels & pizza boxes
> Newspaper (when used for wrapping food waste)
> Out of date food with packaging removed (no glass/plastic)

Grass clippings and small twigs can also be added
to your large brown bin.

NO Thanks

Please do not put any of the following materials into your brown bin:

> Plastic bags/bottles
> Packaging of any sort
> Nappies
> Glass
> Stones/soil
> Metal cans/wire
> Cardboard
> Ashes, coal or cinders
> Pet faeces or litter
> Cooking oils

IF IN DOUBT PHONE AND FIND OUT – contact your Waste
Collection Company

I already compost food waste at home, can I still do this?
Yes. Your home composting bin can still be used for uncooked vegetables and fruit peelings.

However you cannot place raw meat/cooked meats into
your home composter. You can use your brown bin
for all types of food waste, including raw/cooked
foods or meats. But remember, you cannot place
food waste into your general waste bin.

Can I use plastic bags in my brown bin?
No. Plastic bags are made from petrochemical plastics,
that do not break down in the composting process
but contaminate it. Please remember that if plastic
is found in your brown bin, your bin will not be emptied and a contamination tag will be placed on your bin to inform you of this.
You can use compostable bags, or, newspaper.

The newspaper will absorb any liquid and is completely
compostable. If you would prefer to use compostable bags,
please use bags which are 100% compostable and show the compostable logo (EN13432) shown below.


Where can I get compostable bags?
You can purchase compostable bags from your local supermarket or also online. These are identified by a seedling logo shown below and described ‘compostable’


What happens to my food waste?
When the waste collector empties your brown bin the contents are taken to a dedicated composting plant where it is specially treated and turned into high quality compost. This can be used on gardens, in landscaping projects and on fields.

What is a kitchen caddy?
A kitchen caddy is a small lidded bin that you can put on the
table top, work surface, beside your normal kitchen bin or
under the sink. It is used to collect small quantities of food
waste such as vegetable and fruit peelings, bones, teabags
and so on. Your waste collector may provide you with one
of these or you may choose to purchase one yourself.

The waste collector has placed a tag on my brown bin saying its contaminated. What do I do?
Your waste collector checks each brown bin before he empties
it into the collection truck.

If he finds anything in your bin that cannot be composted,
such as plastic, he cannot empty it and will attach a tag to the bin telling you it was contaminated. If this occurs, you are
advised to check the contents of your bin and remove any contamination. You can then present your bin for the next
collection as usual.

Will the brown bin cost me more money?
The new brown bin system should not cost more money
if waste is segregated correctly.
Under Bye Laws and National Waste Policy, your waste
collector must encourage recycling by offering a lesser
charge for collecting your brown bin than your general waste bin.

The most expensive waste stream of all is general waste (landfill waste). There is a Government levy on waste going to landfill therefore, by putting food waste into your brown bin instead,
you avoid this levy and save money.

Why has the brown bin to be collected fortnightly? If, It's not full can I wait?

It is a required under law (Household Food Waste Regulations 2013) that a waste collector must provide a brown bin collection service fortnightly.
This is to ensure food waste is collected regularly and often so there are no odour issues for the householder and also to provide the best possible product after treatment at a composting facility giving the best environmental outcome for everyone



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