How To Insist on a Brown Bin in Dublin, Ireland

2 thoughts on “How To Insist on a Brown Bin in Dublin, Ireland”

  1. This article a true representation of the attitude of many refuse collectors in Dublin and other cities counties in Ireland. However the practice of not being offered a Brown bin is due to Ireland’s unique European situation. We’re unique in that we are the only European country permitted to export mixed waste with minimal treatment (wrapping in plastic bales for export, qualifies as minimal treatment) we were granted this status to assist us in dealing with limited landfill space. However exportation of mixed waste became the norm, as did waste offers to households of all 3 bins for €100 etc.
    Even with segregated food waste, it is now being exported to Northern Ireland to fuel its AD waste to energy plants, heavily subsidised by the UK government so ROI processing companies can’t compete.
    Of the 6 Brown bin processing plants we had in the boom, we now only have 3. Why? Well the others have switched to processing Black bin waste (Residual Waste), removing the bio fraction from it so that the remaining waste can be processed as a fuel for Concrete production in ROI. Our EPA controls and licenses how waste is dealt with on the Island of Ireland, but the DECLG controls how waste is exported.
    Government removed the landfill tax on the bio fraction from Black bin waste and this composted bio waste known as Stabilised Fines is sent to landfill with no penalty tax. So this government promotes, landfilling of Stabilised fines, exporting of food waste up north, and exporting of mixed waste abroad. Our waste export rose from 30k tonnes in 2012 to 730k tonnes in 2014 in just 3 years and rising. So even with the intended legislation change due in 2016 we simply will not have the facilities in place to deal with it. Our EPA constantly raises the issue that the exporting of our waste is unsustainable, but falls on deaf ears with the DECLG.
    A report commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland, CIWM & DECLG ,carried out at DCU to look into the whole area of exportation of our mixed waste is supposed to be close to being published, having had a period for public consultation.
    I have written blogs on all of the above in more detail see then blog tab and follow the trail yourself.
    So now you see why you find it so difficult to get a Brown bin. Commercial food waste reg’s came into force in 2010 and are being flaunted openly, just take a look at how many black bags there are littering Dublin’s city streets, containing food waste that just gets exported.
    Winning your own battle to receive a Brown bin is only applaudable if your refuse company is Thorntons waste, as they have their own Commercial composting facility at Kilmainhamwood and that compost it guaranteed to go back on the local farming land. All other food waste collected by other refuse collectors does not give you that guarantee.
    Denis Lawlor owner Brown Bin Rescue.


    1. Thank you very much Denis, your blog is really informative. I feel there are far too few people writing about these issues with facts and figures and for the average individual it makes it impossible to know what is really happening to our waste. Unfortunately Thorntons don’t serve residential customers in my area because I did try to switch to their service. It’s really disheartening to hear that I will have no idea how my compost is used and with a tiny concrete yard I have no capacity to have my own backyard composter. I feel when the elections are announced I’ll be discussing this with my locals. Certainly let me know if there are any campaigns I can help with.


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