Money guides

How to choose a bin collection service in Ireland

Managing your household waste correctly could save you time and money. Here’s how to find the right collection service, reduce your waste and pay less.

Your household waste disposal options

You must dispose of waste from your household or commercial property.

Local authorities have passed by-laws in Ireland to make sure people are disposing of their waste legally. You have a number of options to ensure you have satisfactory waste arrangements.

In most areas waste collections are carried out by private operators weekly or fortnightly, depending on the type of waste.

Here’s your options:

  1. Sign up to an authorised door to door waste collector
  2. Share a bin with someone else and hold proof of the agreement from the account holder
  3. Show that you regularly use an authorised waste recycling facility like a civic amenity centre

Your local authority can advise you on waste disposal and recycling facilities in your area.

What are the rules?

You’ll need to follow instructions set by your waste disposal firm.

You must:

  • Separate recyclable waste from your residual waste
  • Separate your food waste (if you live in an area with a population of over 500

If you choose a waste collection service, you must:

  • Put out your bin (or bags if allowed) on collection day
  • Remove your bin from the kerbside after collection
  • Separate recyclable and food waste from residual waste
  • Not overfill your bin (the lid must be closed)
  • Not dispose of hazardous waste such as batteries
  • Not dispose of any electrical equipment

If you don’t follow the rules, you could get a fixed penalty of €75, or be convicted and fined up to €2,500.

What type of waste goes in each bin?

Some operators collect different types of waste on different days. In most cases, different coloured bins relate to these waste types:

  • Brown bins for green waste and food waste
  • Green bins for recyclable items
  • Black or grey bins for residual waste

If you are unsure, check directly with your waste collector to find out what should go in each bin.

How much does it cost?

Waste collectors can include any of these charges:

  • Standing or service charges: usually for 3, 6 or 12 months
  • Per-lift charges: A recycling bin collection is much cheaper than a general waste one
  • Per-kilogramme charges: Pay a set price per kilo (recyclables are often free)
  • Weight-band charges: Pay for the weight band that relates to how much waste you have
  • Weight allowance charges: General waste mustn’t exceed a set weight over a set timeframe

Find a deal that suits your household by only paying for the waste you produce.

How to choose a waste collection company

You need to look for a waste collection company that has a valid NWCPO permit.

You’ll find waste collection companies listed on the National Waste Collection Permit Office (NWCPO) website.

You should check:

  1. What type of waste they collect
  2. Whether they run collections in your area
  3. What packages they offer
  4. The cost of their services

It’s also worth asking for recommendations from friends, family and neighbours.

How to reduce your bin collection charge

You need to consider how much you recycle and how much general waste you produce.

  • The more you recycle, the less you’ll pay
  • You can save money by reducing your general waste
  • You can take any recycling to an approved facility, usually for free
  • If you don’t produce much general waste, it may be cheaper to choose a Pay by Weight or Pay by Lift package

How to reduce your waste

Recycling and composting are two easy ways to reduce waste and save money.

Make compost from your leftover food scraps and garden waste and once it’s broken down, add it to your soil. You can either start a pile in your garden or buy a container for your compost.

Being savvy with recycling will keep your costs down and help the environment. If you don’t opt for a recycling collection service, you can take it to:

  • Bring banks: which are collection points for dropping off things like food cans, drinks cans and plastic bottles. These banks are not staffed.
  • Civic amenity sites: which have set opening hours and are staffed. They accept more items than bring banks including things like textiles, electrical items and waste oil.
  • Recycling centres: which are staffed and have set opening hours. They don’t accept bulky items or as much variety of recyclables as civic amenity sites.

Some recycling centres charge a small entry fee, and for disposing of large amounts of waste or large individual items.

Check the waste disposal facilities in your area through your local authority and visit to see what waste each facility accepts.

What to do if you’re unhappy with the service

You should try and resolve any issues with your waste collection provider first.

If you believe your bin has not been weighed correctly, you can:

Waste collection FAQs

Can I burn my household waste?

No, burning household or garden waste at your home or in your garden is illegal. Being caught doing this could land you a €3,000 fine or 12 months in prison.

Can I get any support to pay for a waste collection service?

Your local council may offer a subsidy scheme so it’s worth checking.

If you’re medically incontinent, you should be able to get an annual financial contribution to help towards the cost of disposing of your incontinence products.

Can I take household waste to a landfill site?

Yes. Contact your local authority for details of your nearest landfill site and what you’ll be charged e.g. entrance fee.

How are the prices for waste collection services decided?

Each waste collection operator sets the prices so shop around to find the best deal for you, and watch for rising prices. Always use an approved waste collection service.

I live in a rural area, will my food waste be collected?

Food bins only have to be provided for areas with at least 500 houses so if you live in a lower populated area than this, there won’t be a food waste collection available.

What if I have a large amount of waste to dispose of?

Most waste collectors offer private skip hire so you can compare prices and find the right size skip for your needs.

What if I only produce a very small amount of waste?

Your best option is to find someone you can share a bin with, but make sure you can prove you have this agreement in place.

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