The Rolling Out Of The Brown Bin Service - Antaris Consulting

The Rolling Out Of The Brown Bin Service

Last year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Circular Economy and Waste Statistics Highlights Report 2021. They highlighted that Ireland’s waste generation levels are continuing to rise and Ireland is failing to make sufficient inroads towards key EU recycling targets that apply from 2025 onwards.  

Ireland faces challenging targets under the EU Waste Framework Directive for recycling municipal solid waste of 55% by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035. Despite the significant efforts made by many households to better manage their waste, Ireland’s municipal solid waste recycling rate has remained relatively static in recent years and was just 41% in 2021. In order for Ireland to meet its recycling targets, effective measures must be taken moving into this year. Further details on Ireland’s municipal waste statistics can be found on the EPA website.

One measure being taken that will help tackle waste levels in Ireland is that from January 2024, with the introduction of new EU legislation, every household in Ireland will be entitled to avail of a brown bin collection service. Currently, only around 69% of households have a brown bin service. Waste composition analysis carried out by the EPA in 2022 documents that almost 70% of non-household waste collected in residual bins could be recycled if it had been placed into the recycling of bio waste collection. 

The brown bin service accepts all types of food including raw and cooked meat and fish, plate scrapings, along with fruit and vegetable peelings.  Other items that can go into the brown bin include food-soiled paper napkins, paper towels, as well as grass clippings and light garden waste. Once segregated this type of waste can be processed either at a composting facility or an anaerobic digestion facility to produce an end product of compost or digestate that can be utilised on gardens or by farmers. An anaerobic digestion facility can also generate heat and power which can be sold to the national grid. For more information on what waste goes into the brown bin the website has listed easy to follow guidance and videos.

With the introduction of this service nationwide it is intended to have a significant impact on Ireland’s management of waste. However, the success of this initiative depends on the collective effort of households, communities, and authorities; all working together to create a cleaner and more sustainable Ireland.

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