Buncrana’s brown bins are to become the focus of a new pilot scheme that will raise awareness among Irish householders as to what food and organic waste should be disposed of in the brown food waste bin.
The Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment has funded the pilot project to help Buncrana’s householders segregate more organic waste, and ensure food no longer ends up in the general waste bin and landfill.
This project is being managed by the Regional Waste Management Offices and Donegal County Council who are working with local company Logan Waste on the pilot project.
An estimated one third of food purchased every week in Ireland is thrown away, with half of this food waste ending up in the wrong bin. This has negative consequences for public health and the environment, as well as financially impacting on the householder.
Suzanne Bogan, Waste Awareness Officer, Donegal County Council said, “Residents in Buncrana who have a collection service with Logan Waste can expect to see a new sticker on the general waste bin in the coming weeks. The sticker will help to remind householders that organic or food waste should not be disposed of in the general bin but should be put in the food waste brown bin. All packaging must be removed from food waste before disposal.”
Sinéad Ní Mhainnín Waste Prevention Officer with the Connacht/Ulster Regional Water Management Office added, “In 2018 the EPA conducted a national waste characterisation survey which found that approximately 50% of household organic waste is still being disposed of in the “wrong bins”, in other words the recycling or general waste bin.
“We are confident that with some reminders on our bins in the form of a sticker and easily accessible information through www.mywaste.ie we can help householders reduce this figure significantly. The waste management offices are also encouraging householders who do not already have a food waste brown bin to check if they are eligible for one by contacting their local waste collector.”
Stickers will be placed on bins in Buncrana from mid-February and customers are asked to help make a difference to the environment and play a positive part in climate action by separating their food waste and using their food waste brown bin correctly.
Logan Waste in Donegal is a member of the Irish Waste Management Association. John Logan of Logan Waste said, “We are delighted to be part of this pilot project which will benefit both the customer and the environment.
“It is important people understand what should be put into out 140 Litre food waste brown bins, and ensure that it does not end up in the general bin or in the dry recycling bin. Food waste is all vegetable and fruit peelings, loose tea, coffee grounds, egg shells, all plate scrapings, leftover or food no longer edible regardless whether it is cooked or uncooked. Kitchen paper towels and napkins can also be disposed of in the food waste brown bin. Small quantities of cooking oil is also acceptable.”
Once collected, the food waste brown bin material is delivered from homes once a fortnight to a anaerobic digestion plant where it is specially treated and turned into green electricity. Ensuring only the right materials go in the food waste brown bin prevents contamination and results in more material being suitable for energy conversion.
More information about food waste recycling is available from www.mywaste.ie, Donegal County Council and Logan Waste.