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What does not go in the recycling bin?

Did you know that every year, up to 30% of the items placed in recycling bins in Ireland are items that are not allowed in the recycling bin?  Things like nappies, wipes, bags of ash, clothes and garden waste are the worst offenders.  These ‘contaminants’ affect other recyclable items and cause huge problems for staff and machinery trying to sort household recycling bin waste at waste facilities. 

Why does it matter what I put in my recycling bin?

It matters a lot.  Not just because recycling bin contamination is unpleasant for the people sorting your waste, but because, as a nation, we all need to help Ireland achieve ambitious EU recycling targets over the coming years to help protect our environment. To do this, everyone needs to learn to ‘put the right thing, in the right bin’, so that we can ensure any materials which can be recycled, are recycled.

Please do NOT put these items in your recycling bin

To help you, here are some of the items you should NEVER place in your recycling bin, and a list of some of these in more detail, letting you know what bin you should place them in.

Please bring glass to your local bottle bank Please bring glass to your local bottle bank
Please bring batteries and bulbs to your local drop off point Please bring batteries and bulbs to your local drop off point
Nappies and wipes must go in the general waste bin Nappies and wipes must go in the general waste bin
Always put food waste in the food waste bin Always put food waste in the food waste bin
Garden waste can also go in the food waste bin Garden waste can also go in the food waste bin
Bring clothes and shoes to a charity shop or clothes bank Bring clothes and shoes to a charity shop or clothes bank

Here is a list of more items that should NOT go in your recycling bin, and advice on where to dispose of them.

Egg shells

These are food waste - please place egg shells in your food waste bin. You can place egg boxes in your recycling bin however, if not reusing for crafts, once they are clean, dry and loose.

Fruit / veg peels

These are food waste - please place fruit peels and cores in the food waste bin.

Batteries

These are not allowed in your recycling bin. You can dispose of used batteries in special blue boxes which are located in many retail outlets, including your local supermarkets, or at your local WEEE drop off point or recycling centre.

Butter foil

This is not recyclable and should be placed in the general waste bin.

Clothes and shoes

These are not allowed in your household recycling bin. Please donate good items to a Charity Shop or dispose of at your local clothes bank.

Coffee pods

Coffee pods are made up of many materials, which makes them unsuitable for your household recycling and food waste bins. Nespresso Coffee pods can be returned for recycling but all other coffee pods should be placed in the general waste bin.

Cracker wrap

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Crisp packets

Although the inside of the packet is shiny and looks like foil, it is in fact a metallised plastic film. This type of material is not currently recycled and should be placed in your general waste bin.

Electrical items

These are not allowed in your household recycling bin. Please dispose of at your local WEEE collection point.

Food waste

All general food waste should be placed in your food waste bin - NOT in your household recycling bin

Frozen fish packaging

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Frozen pizza plastic wrap

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in the recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin. Please place the empty cardboard box into your household recycling bin.

Frozen vegetable bags

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Fruit & vegetable netting

This is not recyclable and should be placed in the general waste bin.

Garden waste

Garden waste such as cuttings should NOT be placed in your household recycling bin. You can put grass and plant cuttings in your food waste bin - or you can visit your local recycling centre to dispose of larger volumes of garden waste.

Glass

Glass is not allowed in your household recycling bin. Please dispose of at your local bottle bank.

Grated cheese packets

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Jam tubs (convenience pack)

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Ketchup sachets

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Kitchen cloths

These are not recyclable and should be placed in the general waste bin.

Kitchen roll wrap

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Kitchen sponges

These are not recyclable and should be placed in the general waste bin.

Light bulbs

These are not allowed in your household recycling bin. Please dispose of at your local light bulb drop off point.

Makeup tubes

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Markers

These should be placed in the general waste bin, as it's too difficult to remove all the contents.

Matches used

Once used, matches should be placed in the general waste bin.

Medical 'blister' tablet packs

These are not recyclable and should be placed in the general waste bin.

Nail polish bottles

These cannot be recycled. Please placed in your general waste bin.

Nappies and baby wipes

These are not recyclable and should be placed in the general waste bin. PLEASE DO NOT put nappies and wipes in your recycling bin - they cause serious contamination and are very unpleasant for staff sorting waste by hand.

Pasta and rice bags

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Pens

These should be placed in the general waste bin, as it's too difficult to remove all the contents.

Pizza

These are food waste - please place any pizza scraps or crusts in the food waste bin. Your takeaway pizza box can go in the recycling bin, even if it has grease on it. But if there is any part of the box that is contaminated with food, tear it off and place it in the food waste bin.

Plasters

These cannot be recycled. Please placed in your general waste bin.

Plastic vegetable wrap

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Polystyrene

Expanded Polystyrene (such as used to package large electrical items) is recyclable but cannot be placed in your household recycling bin as it breaks up like glass. Some recycling (civic amenity) centres accept Expanded Polystyrene for recycling.  Please check mywaste.ie for locations.

Porridge bags

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Salt and pepper sachets

Paper sachets cannot be recycled - please place these in your food waste bin.

Soiled kitchen roll

If you have used a paper towel for cleaning out pots and pans or simply wiping your hands, you can place it in the food waste bin. Soiled paper towels are not allowed in the recycling bin. If you used the paper towel for cleaning with antibacterial soaps or sprays please place it into general waste as it will kill the microbes in the food waste bin.

Soiled paper napkins

If you have used a paper napkin for cleaning out pots and pans or simply wiping your hands this should be placed in the food waste bin. Soiled paper napkins are not allowed in the recycling bin. If you used the paper napkin for cleaning with antibacterial soaps please place it into general waste as it will kill the microbes in the food waste bin.

Soiled tin foil

If foils are soiled they cannot be recycled and should be disposed of in the general waste bin. You can however place scrunched, CLEAN aluminium or tin foil in the household recycling bin.

Soup and sauce packets (dry)

These are made from foil lined paper, which is currently not accepted in the recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Soup and sauce pouches

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Steel scourers

These are not recyclable and should be placed in the general waste bin.

Steel wool

These are not recyclable and should be placed in the general waste bin.

Sticky tape

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Stock cube wraps/pots

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in the recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin. If the rigid/hard plastic tubs are washed out these can be placed in your household recycling bin.

Sweet wrappers

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Toilet freshener tabs

These are not recyclable and should be placed in the general waste bin.

Toilet roll wrapping

These are made from soft plastics which are currently not accepted in your household recycling bin. These should be placed in the general waste bin.

Toothpaste tubes

These are a mix of materials and should be placed in the general waste bin.

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