How to choose a waste collection provider

Sorting out your household waste correctly could save you time and money. Here’s how to find the right door to door collection service for less.

Household waste bye-laws are in force, here’s what they mean for you.

Your household waste disposal options

You must dispose of waste from your household, apartment or commercial property, and either:

You must also:

  • 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 notice of up to €75, or be convicted and fined up to €2,500.

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:

  • What type of waste they collect: Click on the NWCPO reference to find this out.
  • Whether they run collections in your area: Click on the NWCPO reference or check with your local authority.
  • What packages they offer: and whether one suits your needs.
  • The cost of their services: compared to other collection services.

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

How to choose your waste disposal price plan

You need to consider how much you recycle and how much general waste you produce. The more you recycle, the less you’ll pay.

Some waste collection companies like AES offer tips and guidelines to help you work out which type of arrangement will suit you best, and what size bin you’ll need.

If you don’t produce much general waste, it may be cheaper to choose a Pay by Weight or Pay by Lift package.

You can save money by reducing your general waste and only paying for this to be collected. You can take any recycling to an approved facility, usually for free.

What type of waste goes in each bin?

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.

Check with your waste collector for exactly what should go in each bin.

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 repak.ie 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’s not been weighed correctly, you can:

  • Contact your local authority
  • Report the registration number of the collection truck on the The National Standards Authority of Ireland’s (NSAI) website.

If you have a dispute about the terms of service, you can contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CPPC).

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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 €75 a year 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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