Your household recycling list.
To keep up with international standards in recycling we have drawn up a list of the materials you can put in your household recycle bin. Please make sure items are clean, dry and placed loosely in the bin. If it’s not on the list, it’s not in the recycle bin.
Plastic Drink Bottles
Plastic Cleaning Bottles
Butter, Yoghurt & Salad Tubs
Fruit & Veg Trays
Plastic Milk Cartons
Soap or Shampoo Bottles
Tins & Cans
Pet Food Cans
Paper & Cardboard
Letters and Brochures
Cardboard Boxes (Flat)
Toilet & Kitchen Roll
Tetra Pak Juice or Milk Cartons
Why am I not on the list?
A disposable coffee cup is made from paper but has a plastic lining that is difficult to remove, so coffee cups must go in your black bin.
Carrier Bags / Refuse Sack
Plastic bags get tangled in the machines and slow down work on the sorting lines as people must empty them.
We do not have the technology to recycle soft plastics such as wrappers.
Paper Towels / Napkins
These items are usually made from recycled paper that can only be recycled a limited number of times. You can put them in your compost bin.
Glass is 100% recyclable, however, glass does not go in the recycle bin. Glass should be placed in glass/bottle banks.
Aluminium Foil & Trays
Food can be difficult to clean off used foil and trays so it’s best to put them in your black bin.
Dirty Pizza Boxes
Food stained paper should go in the general waste or compost bin as food is a major contaminant in paper recycling.
Why should items be placed loosely in the bin?
Your mixed recycle bin is sorted into different categories for recycling. If you have placed items inside one another, the machines will not be able to sort them and unwanted items such as food or nappies can enter the system while precious resources are lost.
Why should the items be clean and dry?
If items once contained food or liquid they must be rinsed clean and given a shake to remove the water before going into your recycle bin. Food and liquid can contaminate the materials in the recycling bin. Wet paper cannot be recycled.
Why is there a list?
Recycled materials such as paper and cardboard, metals and plastic can be sold on the global market but the prices and demand for these materials constantly change. To get the best value for our materials, they need to be cleaned and sorted. China and India are major buyers of recyclable material from Europe and they use these materials for manufacturing instead of extracting raw materials. Over the past year, China and India have requested higher standards and are no longer purchasing mixed materials such as plastics, paper or cardboard baled together. For Ireland to sell its recyclable materials we need to be able to separate these materials quickly and easily. Each household must take care that they only add items from the list to the recycle bin and these items should be clean, dry and loose.
What About Glass?
Glass does not go in the household recycling bin. It should be collected and placed in glass/bottle banks as the separate collection of glass produces the highest quality recycled glass.
Glass is 100% recyclable.
Glass can be recycled repeatedly without losing any of its properties.
Not all glassware can be put in glass banks such as cookware, Pyrex, plates, cups and ceramics as they have a different melting point to traditional glass.
The metal or plastic lids of glass items can be placed in the recycling bin.
Did you know?
Paper & Cardboard
Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials.
Approximately 59% of an average cardboard box is recycled material.
Paper and cardboard products make up 23.7% of waste in the household bin.
Cardboard boxes can be made up of up to 100% recycled fibres.
Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 2.2 cubic metres of landfill space and 7,000 gallons of water.
35% of the wood harvested worldwide is used to make paper products.
It is possible to recycle one sheet of printer paper up to 7 times.
23.7% of Irish household bins are made up of paper and cardboard.
Between 2004 & 2014, the global production of plastics grew from 225 million to 311 million tonnes.
Producing plastic products from recycled plastics reduces energy requirements by 66%.
Recycling just 1 tonne of plastics saves 1,000–2,000 gallons of petroleum.
Plastic drinking bottles can be recycled into duvet fillings, home insulation material, clothing, bin liners, carrier bags, DVD & video game cases, compost bins, park benches, new bottles & much more!
It takes up to 500 years for plastic to decompose.
Almost 8 million metric tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans every year.
Tins & Cans
You can make a bicycle out of 650 recycled aluminium cans.
One recycled drink can save 20 times more energy and emissions than making the can from new materials.
Recycling uses 5% of the energy needed for primary production.
If you recycle 1 aluminium can today, it can be made into a new can, get filled and be back on the shelf in just 6 weeks.
Approximately 75% of the aluminium ever produced is still in circulation today.
The benefits of recycling aluminium are so great that every effort should be made to divert it from landfill.
22,000 coffee cups are disposed of in Ireland every hour, that is 528,000 every day or 200 million a year. Single use coffee cups are not on Recycling List Ireland and cannot be put in the Recycling Bin. Up to 200 million single use coffee cups are...
In 1953 the writer Leonard E. Read wrote a short story from the point of view of a pencil. Leonard Read asked a simple question with a complicated answer: Who makes a pencil, and how? I, Pencil took the reader on a journey across the world. The logging...read more
Over the last 3 years Ireland has recycled enough plastic to fill the Aviva Stadium – but this is just 35% of the country’s total plastic waste
Ireland’s Waste Management Offices advise householders on recycling best practice. Dr Stephen Kinsella explains that just as plastic is produced by a global economy so too is it recycled. THE volume of rigid plastic recycled by Irish householders everyday...read more
Recycling List Ireland has just launched a national television advertising campaign aiming to inform as wide an audience as possible about the items that can be placed in domestic recycling bins or bags. The television advert was rolled out across TV3 and RTÉ and also...read more
Recycling Ambassadors will show you what you can recycle in your household bin in this free interactive workshop. The Recycling Workshops are being offered to help improve Ireland’s recycling rates and reduce levels of contamination in household recycling bins. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to get your recycling bin sorted. #binsorted
Ireland’s waste management policy is based on the EU waste hierarchy and includes a range of measures across all 5 tiers namely, prevention and minimisation, reuse, recycling, recovery and disposal.
The policy is set out in detail in A Resource Opportunity, which provides a roadmap on how Ireland will reduce its dependency on landfill, by putting in place appropriate measures and approaches to reduce waste, while at the same time making the most of opportunities to recover resources from waste.