How to recycle waste in Ireland

How to recycle waste in Ireland

If you have the option, you can either take it to a recycling center or use a curbside collection. You can either compost it or use a kerbside pick-up for organic waste. See ‘Composting’ below. Bulky organic waste is accepted by many recycling facilities.

There are three types of permanent recycling facilities: bring banks; civic amenity sites; and recycling centers. Each year, most local authorities set up temporary collection points to collect Christmas trees. Repak, and your local authority can help you find out what’s available in your area.

Unstaffed collection points for recyclable materials such as glass bottles, drink cans, and food cans are available at bring banks. Many bring banks have bins that can be used to collect clothes that aren’t being worn.

Similar to bring banks, civic amenity sites can accept a wider range of items. They are purpose-built and have specific hours of operation. They accept paper, cardboard and plastic bottles, as well as food cans and food containers. They also accept Christmas trees and garden waste.

The staff at civic amenity websites can offer advice and information on recycling, and may even have home composting bins available for sale.


They are also gated and staffed, and offer specific hours of operation. However, they accept a lesser variety of items than other civic amenity sites. They don’t accept bulky items. They can be found in pre-existing sites, such as depots of local authorities.


Staff can offer advice and information on recycling, and may even have home composting bins available for sale.


A kerbside collection for recyclable waste is sometimes called a “green bin” collection. Plastic bottles, glass bottles and food tins are all recyclable materials.


Many areas have separate bin collections for organic and food waste. These are often called a “brown bin” collection.


Composting refers to the process of converting organic material such as garden or kitchen waste into an earth-like substance that can be used as soil conditioner. You can compost most garden waste, as well as kitchen waste. See our guide on composting. You can either compost organic materials at some civic facilities or use the brown bin if you have it. Subsidized rates are often offered by local authorities for home composting bins.


These materials can be put in your household waste recycling container:


Paper and cardboard: brochures, letters, flattened cardboard boxes, egg boxes, centre cardboard from toilet roll or kitchen roll, newspapers and ‘Tetrapak’ cartons for juice and milk


Rigid plastic (washed, dried): plastic drinks bottles, plastic cleaning containers, butter, yogurt and salad tubs; plastic trays and trays for fruits and vegetables; plastic milk containers; plastic bottles for liquid soap and shampoo


Soft plastic (washed, dry): plastic bags for frozen food, bread wrappers and plastic shopping bags.


Soft plastics were added as an item that could be recycled on 6 September 2021. This is due to technological improvements at recycling facilities. This should increase Ireland’s recycling rate so that we can reach our national recycling goals.


Tins and cans (washed, dried): Soup cans, pet food containers, drink cans, and food cans


All items must be dry, clean and loosely placed in the recycle bin.

What can I bring to a recycle facility?


Recycling facilities can accept a wide variety of items. You should check with your local recycling center to see what they accept.


To avoid contamination, all materials must be cleaned. Wash out yogurt pots, bottles, and cans. Before recycling. These are the most common items that are recycled.


  • Glass bottles and jars: Recycle lids/caps separately
  • Paper (newspapers magazines, telephone books and office paper), as well as comics, light cardboard, junk mail, comics, and other publications.
  • Drinks cartons (for milk, juice etc.)
  • Aluminium (soft drinks, beer cans, foil).
  • Plastic bottles and cartons
  • Tins for food (fruit, vegetables, pet foods)
  • Metal and aluminium lids as well as plastic bottle tops
  • Textiles include clean clothes, bed linens, towels, coats, jackets, and other textiles.
  • White goods include washing machines, dryers and dishwashers.
  • Batteries can also be purchased in supermarkets and shops.


Recycle items that are not recyclable


  • Pyrex, crystal glass, television tubes, Pyrex (that is, alcohol bottles with a large amount foil glued to the bottle) and car windscreens
  • Porcelain and pottery, as well as ceramic tiles, are available.
  • Carpets, rugs, cushions and mattresses
  • Waxed or laminated papers, such as paper cups, are also available.


Hazardous waste


Many household products can be harmful to the environment. These include medications, aerosols and bulbs, fluorescent tubes, adhesives and polishes. You can bring some of these items to a municipal amenity center, where they can either be recycled or disposed off. You can return pharmaceutical drugs, such as painkillers, medical waste (such syringes and surgical gloves), and containers for prescription drugs to your local pharmacy. They will dispose of them properly. Some authorities organize mobile collections where hazardous waste can left at a central location. For more information, contact your local authority.

Recycling symbols


The mobius circle, which is three arrows within a circle, is the most popular recycling symbol found on packaging and products. This indicates that the product is either recyclable, or contains some recycled content.




Most recycling services offered to the public are free. However, some items and large quantities may be charged by recycling centres or civic amenity centers. Check with your local centre. You may be charged for kerbside collection. Check with your service provider.


Many local authorities offer home composters at reduced rates.

Where to apply


Check the website of your local authority for details about kerbside collection in your area.


Repak’s search can be used to locate a recycling facility. You can also check for the contact information.


You could give them away, sell them or give them away on a website that allows you to sell and/or donate. Learn more about ways to reduce waste.

What happens to the recycled items?




Lead acid batteries are used in cars, trucks, boats and tractors. They are made from plastic and contain dilute sulfuric acid and lead. The batteries are broken down, the acid is drained and neutralised, and then the plastic and lead are compressed and bagged for recycling. Thermal recycling can be used to recycle button batteries (cameras and hearing aids, calculators, computers, etc.). Thermal recycling can also be used to recycle domestic rechargeable batteries, including mobile and cordless phones, cordless power tools, cordless appliances, and laptops. This reclaims the cadmium and nickel. Reclaimed cadmium can be used to make new batteries, while nickel and iron can be used to create stainless steel.




To avoid cross-contamination, glass must be sorted by colour. It is then crushed and made into ‘cullet. Cullet can make up as much as 40% of the raw material in the production of new glass. This results in significant savings on raw materials and the energy required to melt glass.




You can dismantle vehicles, take out any valuable materials, and crush them for smelting.


White goods for the home


You can disassemble household appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and toasters. The ferrous and nonferrous metals can be separated, and the rest can be disposed off. Specialist recyclers can also be hired to process more complicated items, such as televisions and computers. They separate the components of equipment to resell or recycle valuable materials. They can also refurbish whole systems for resale.




Aluminium cans are one of the most valuable materials. Aluminum foil can also easily be recycled. This includes the foil that comes with ready-to-cook meals and take-out meals. The lighter, ‘tin foil’ used in cooking. The foil and cans of aluminium are melted into ingots which are then rolled into products.




You can reprocess waste mineral oil (fuel oil or lubrication oils) and resell it as low-grade industrial oil or boiler fuel oil to produce heat, electricity, or both. Mineral oil should not be mixed with vegetable oils such as cooking oil. These oils can be used to clean and make animal feeds or fuel for modified cars. Some recycling centers accept domestic cooking oils.




Paper recycling facilities should be monitored for fire safety. All types of paper can be recycled, including newspapers, magazines, office papers, junk mail and light cardboard. The paper that is collected goes to the paper mills where it can be recycled into new paper.



Plastics industry uses a specific code to label different materials. This helps with recycling and identification. Most plastic containers you will find in your home are made of HDPE, LDPE or PET. PET (polyethene-terephthalate) is the most common material used for containers. These bottles can be shrunk and used to make polyester linings for pillows, sleeping bags and quilted jackets. You can use recycled plastics for garden furniture, fencing, flooring, bumpers, plastic bags and PVC pipes.


Green waste


Home composting is a great soil conditioner. It allows you to recycle most garden and kitchen waste. Some civic facilities offer composting services, and even sell the compost. Many local authorities recycle Christmas trees. The trees are then shredded and the shavings used for landscaping.




To be sold, clothes and textiles that can be resold are sent to charity shops. Textiles and clothes that aren’t suitable for resale can be recycled into carpet underlay, machine-wiping fabrics or furniture fibre filler.

You can get your rubbish collected in Dublin by Rubbish Taxi

Rubbish Taxi, a Dublin specialist in waste removal, is available to you. Get rid of garden waste, rubbish, and furniture in Dublin. We also have mattress disposal and regular waste collection services.

Fully serviced vans will travel the city and receive orders. They will then make their way to your home for domestic trash disposal in Dublin. There is no hassle since we do all the lifting. We will responsibly dispose of your rubbish professionally and collect it all.