New laws on binning food could reduce waste

A new regulation coming into effect on Tuesday could help householders in Castlebar and Ballina cut down on the thousands of euros of food that is being binned each year.

From July 1, householders in both towns will no longer be allowed to simply bin waste food.

Instead, households now have to use a separate ‘brown bin’, the contents of which will be taken to a composting facility.

The new regulations are aimed at cutting down on the huge volume of food that is going to landfill in Ireland.

Sharon Cameron, environment awareness officer with the Mayo County Council, said the average family in Ireland throws out a third of all the food they buy, costing up to €1,000 a year.

“Most of this food ends up in landfill where it leads to the production of greenhouse gases that can damage the environment,” said Ms Cameron.

“The new system will take a while to get used to but once householders get into the swing of it, it will be no problem. The new brown bin system will mean waste food can be used as a resource and turned into compost.

“Once householders start to separate out their food from other waste, I hope that they will see how much they are throwing out unnecessarily and begin to cut down on food wastage.”

All types of food waste can be placed in the brown bin, including vegetable peelings, stale bread, and meat and fish waste.

Householders that are already composting at home are encouraged to continue to do so and to use their brown bin for meat and dairy waste that is not suitable for home composting.

The brown bin system is being introduced in towns with a population of more than 10,000 this year. However, from 2015, the system will begin to be rolled out to smaller towns and villages.

For further information, visit or contact your waste contractor.


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