Are We Too Lazy To Separate Our Rubbish?

Are We Too Lazy To Separate Our Rubbish?

Reduce Reuse Recycle – Recreate Repair Rethink

Recycling is a group effort. We all have our part to play to not only recycle as much waste as possible but to also make sure our recycling is properly sorted. Recycling that includes non-recyclable items or is contaminated with food waste will end up in landfill.


The least amount of mixed rubbish going into a landfill the better because of greenhouse gas. When organic material such as food scraps and green waste is put in landfill, it is generally compacted down and covered. This removes the oxygen and causes it to break down in an anaerobic process. Eventually this releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Plastic waste is one of many types of wastes that take too long to decompose. Normally, plastic items can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills. But plastic bags we use in our everyday life take 10-1000 years to decompose, while plastic bottles can take 450 years or more.

The least amount of rubbish to be sorted at the waste treatment plant the better!!


Are we so lazy that we can’t put the correct items into our bins? Oh yes, it takes a little bit more time and effort but it will definitely be worth it in the long run!

A little effort can go a long way and can pave a healthier and more environmentally friendly pathway for our future generations. We can ensure that by separating our rubbish that less will go to landfill and end up in the designated site where it can be recycled or composted!!

There’s nothing worse than seeing a general waste bin that’s full to the brim with glass bottles, drink cans, cardboard, plastic, vegetable/fruit peelings etc. and you know in your heart and soul that could all have been separated. Some of it could have been taken to the local bottle/bring bank or local civic amenity centre too.  That’s where you can save money by having less in your bins; you’ll also feel good knowing it will be recycled properly and you’ve done your bit for the environment.

Using all of your bins to their full potential will decrease the amount of waste going to your general waste bin.  This will reduce waste to landfill or incinerator, as well as the impact your waste has on the environment.

The Recycling Bin:


Top Tips:

  1. Flatten your cardboard boxes, tins, cans or plastics and fold any paper – it will take up less space in your bin.
  2. Think outside the kitchen – shampoo bottles, bubble bath, lotions and potions all come in containers that can be recycled. Pop a small bin in your bathroom to remind you to collect all of them.
  3. It really helps if you thoroughly rinse all items for example tomato or soup tins, plastic mayonnaise, ketchup or butter containers etc. before placing them in your bin, as dirty or unsuitable items could contaminate the entire contents.
  4. Keep the contents dry. The recycling bin is the clean bin.


What Can’t Go in Your Recycling Bin:

  1. All Plastic bags – black bags, bin liners, shopping bags, bread wrappers, crisp bags
  2. Coal bags, compost and fertiliser bags, pet-food bags or pouches
  3. Plastic film – cling film, wrappers, packaging, bubble wrap
  4. Hard plastics – toys etc
  5. Tin-foil or tin trays – i.e. disposable barbecue trays, take-away food containers
  6. No meat, poultry or fish (raw or cooked) wrappers, trays or packaging
  7. Ashes
  8. Vacuum cleaner bags and contents
  9. Rocks, bricks, gravel & timber
  10. Glass/ceramics
  11. Clothes/shoes
  12. Green waste (kitchen or garden)
  13. Dryer sheets and lint
  14. Personal hygiene products
  15. Medical waste
  16. Paint, motor oil, wax or petroleum
  17. Cigarette butts
  18. Animal Waste
  19. Polystyrene

The General Waste Bin:

Your general waste bin is for any waste that you cannot put into your recycling or organic bins. The contents of your waste bin can be reduced by separating your rubbish and making sure what can be recycled or composted actually goes in the recycling or organic bins.


What Can’t Go in Your General Waste Bin:

  1. Medical waste
  2. Paint cans, motor oil, wax or petroleum
  3. Rocks, bricks and gravel
  4. Electrical goods (you can bring them to the local civic amenity centre)
  5. Hazardous waste


The Organic Bin:

By using your brown/organic bin correctly, the average family can reduce the waste going into their green general waste bin by over 30%. This waste can also be converted into a nutrient dense fertiliser for farmers.

Top Tips:

  1. The brown bin rule – If it once grew, it can go in the brown bin. Paper was once a growing tree, making all pizza boxes, paper food wrapping and wine corks an organic waste too.
  2. Wrap your leftovers and fruit or vegetable peelings in newspaper before placing them in your bin. It will keep the fruit flies away.
  3. Keep your organic bin clean by using compostable liners or bags, available in most major retailers. Regular and bio-degradable bin bags are not suitable for an organic bin.




What Can’t Go in Your Organic Waste Bin:

  1. Chemically sprayed grass/weeds
  2. Ashes
  3. Rocks, bricks and gravel
  4. Vacuum cleaner bags and contents
  5. Dryer sheets and lint
  6. Clothes, shoes and rags
  7. Glass, metal and plastic
  8. Nappies and personal hygiene products
  9. Medical waste
  10. Paint, motor oil, wax or petroleum
  11. Cigarette butts
  12. Animal waste

More information at:

Waterford Council

Bring/Bottle Banks & Civic Amenity Sites  in Waterford City & County

It starts with you in your home, workplace or wherever you are when you have to dispose of your rubbish – spread the word  – a little more effort taking the time to recycle can make a huge difference!!


A few extra minutes of your time now could make a difference in the next millennium!!



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