Here are some ways you can reduce your ‘pay by weight’ bin charges.
Separating Your Organic Waste
If you’re not already disposing of your organic waste separately to the rest of your rubbish, you should make this an absolute priority. Organic waste, e.g. leftover and gone-off food, leaves, cut grass etc., has a high moisture content and tends to weigh a lot. Therefore keeping this heavy waste out of your rubbish bin will significantly reduce your bin charges.
There are two ways to dispose of your organic waste separately to your rubbish:
If you have a garden, composting is a great idea. As well as being a free and environmentally friendly way of getting rid of your organic waste, it produces high quality, nutrient-rich compost you can use in your garden. For more information on composting see our article: How to Start Composting.
Using Your Brown Bin
An alternative to composting is making use of the ‘brown bin’, which most bin collection companies will provide for your organic waste. This bin, which is usually brown in colour, will have a much lower price-per-kilo than the general rubbish bin.
Tips for Brown Bin Use
You won’t want to be running outside to the brown bin every time you finish a meal and have some leftovers to dispose of. Eventually, you will end up just throwing everything in the indoor rubbish bin for handiness sake – especially if it’s raining outside! What you will need is a small bin indoors that is dedicated to organic waste only. This bin should have a lid to avoid any bad smells escaping. You can line this bin with small, biodegradable bin bags that can be thrown in the brown bin, making the process even easier and helping keep your bin clean.
You might also want to line your brown bin with a biodegradable bin liner for the same reason. As anyone who has ever made use of their brown bin will know, they can get pretty rancid after a while, with lots of off-putting slugs and larvae too. A bin liner will help keep this under control.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
You’ve heard it before, but are you actually doing it? Life can get so busy it is easy to let things like this slide, but soon you will see a real difference in your pocket.
Reduce Your Waste
Little changes like choosing loose fruit and vegetables over pre-packed, will help reduce your waste. When buying your eggs at a farmers market, you can bring along your empty old egg-tray instead of taking a new box. And you're probably already bringing along reusable shopping bags with you to the supermarket.
Reuse - Upcycle!
Whereas recycling is sending off your waste so it can be changed back into a raw material again so it can be then used to make something new, upcycling is a fun DIY/craft activity where you can change your unwanted items into new and more useful things yourself. The more you reuse or upcycle, the less you throw out. For more information, see our Guide to Upcycling.
Donate to Charity
Old clothes, books, toys, etc. in a good condition will be gladly received by the many charity shops in Ireland. The benefit is two-fold, you are supporting charitable causes and you are reducing your household waste (and your bin charges).
If none of the above (reduce, reuse or donate) apply, you can use the recycling facilities available to you. Most bin collection companies will provide a recycling bin, which will be charged at a lower price-per-kilo than the rubbish bin.
If you don’t have this service, local authorities provide glass and aluminium recycling banks in most towns and villages. You can return used batteries for free to Topline stores that sell batteries. When you buy a new electrical appliance, you can give them your old one for free. There are also civic amenity centres across Ireland where you can bring any remaining recycling, but a charge may apply.