Report on The Food Waste Recycling Pilot Project - mywaste My Waste

Report on The Food Waste Recycling Pilot Project

The Food Waste Recycling Project is an initiative of Cré (Composting & Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland), the Regional Waste Management Planning Lead Authorities Connacht Ulster, Eastern Midlands, Southern (WMPLA) and the Irish Waste Management Association. It was funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE).

The report “National Brown Bin Awareness Pilot Scheme in Sligo City” highlighted that the provision of a range of educational and collection tools could improve the capture and quality of food waste in the food waste recycling bin. The Sligo pilot project confirmed that there are real gains to be made in using the food waste bin correctly and identified some really practical steps which could be useful for other towns to adopt.

Building on the findings of that report and learnings from the collaborative approach used to create “Recycling List Ireland”, a working group was formed to look at standardising awareness and education of the food waste bin.

The working group membership included Cré, the IWMA (Barna Recycling & Clean Ireland Recycling), the Regional Waste Management Planning Offices and the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

The aims for standardising the awareness and education for the food waste recycling bin are:

  1. Increase uptake and encourage participation.
  2. Reduce contamination.
  3. Create a social norm

After a number of meetings, the working group designed three trials to test the effectiveness, cost and logistics to providing householders with communication and practical tools to increase participation in separating food waste. These tools included a kitchen caddy, a supply of paper liners, informational stickers and an explanatory leaflet.

The key outcomes of the trials were:

  • Widespread positive acceptance by participants of the tools provided.
  • Households with a food waste bin already further increased their participation.
  • Collectors in Trim reported an increase in tonnage of food waste presented during the pilot project of between 20 and 25%.
  • Contamination in Ballaghaderreen decreased by over 56% (8.5 % to 4.5%) and presentation rates of the food waste increased by 20%.
  • In Buncrana, 598 households were provided only with a sticker on the residual bin and it was determined that this increased participation and tonnage of food waste collected.
  • The IWMA, DCCAE, Cré, and the WMPLA are to review this report to determine if the findings could be emulated to all households.
Capture The Full Report download here