What Goes in What Bin?

what goes in what bin

It’s a question people ask themselves everyday, ‘what goes in what bin?’ Here we answer that question for you.

Between population growth and urbanisation, waste is becoming a problem that we can no longer ignore. By 2050, we will need three planet earths to meet our resource demands in a business-as-usual scenario. The only means of changing this is by transitioning to a circular economy. (Source: gov.ie

Changing the problem at its source is more important than ever and applying the 5 R’s to the way you live your life can make a big difference. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and then Recycle. When the item has reached the end of its life, it’s important to dispose of the item correctly. So, let’s break down what goes in what bin?

Categories Of Waste

  • Mixed waste/landfill waste/general refuse/mixed refuse
  • Food waste/brown bin/compost/compostable
  • Mixed dry recyclable/recyclables/recycling/blue bin
  • Glass waste (green, white and brown)
  • Cardboard
  • Hazardous waste (e.g. batteries)

What goes in the recycling bin?

Remember all materials must be CLEAN, DRY and LOOSE before being placed in the recycling bin.

  • all plastics
  • paper and cardboard
  • tins, cans and foil

Take Our Free Online Sustainability Test 


Save this handy poster from Repak, print it out and stick it up above the bins in your business.

what goes in what bin

What should not go in the recycling bin?

Here is a list of items that should NOT go in your recycling bin:

  • Egg shells
  • Fruit / veg peels
  • Batteries
  • Butter foil
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Coffee pods
  • Electrical items
  • Food waste
  • Fruit & vegetable netting
  • Garden waste
  • Glass
  • Kitchen cloths
  • Kitchen sponges
  • Light bulbs
  • Markers
  • Matches (used)
  • Medical ‘blister’ tablet packs
  • Nail polish bottles
  • Nappies and baby wipes
  • Pens
  • Pizza
  • Plasters
  • Polystyrene
  • Salt and pepper sachets
  • Soiled kitchen roll
  • Soiled paper napkins
  • Soiled tin foil
  • Soup and sauce packets (dry)
  • Steel scourers
  • Steel wool
  • Toilet freshener tabs
  • Toothpaste tubes


What goes in the food waste bin?

Some of the cities in Ireland have specific food waste bins. 

The following is what goes in them:

  • Cooked & Raw Foods
  • Kitchen Food Scraps
  • Meat, Fish, Poultry & Bones
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Bread, Cakes & Biscuits
  • Eggs & Dairy
  • Out Of Date Food
  • Coffee Grinds & Paper Filters
  • Tea Leaves & Tea Bags
  • Food Soiled Paper Napkins
  • Paper Towels & Pizza Boxes
  • Plant Trimmings, Cut Flowers & Old Plants


What Doesn’t Go in the food waste bin?

  • Plastic bags/bottles
  • No petrochemical plastic
  • Nappies
  • Glass
  • Stones/soil
  • Metal cans/wire
  • Cardboard
  • Ashes, coal or cinders
  • Pet faeces or litter
  • Cooking oils


What about the other stuff?

Most other things go in the general waste bin, except for the following:

  • Please bring glass to your local bottle bank
  • Please bring batteries and bulbs to your local drop off point
  • Bring clothes and shoes to a charity shop or clothes bank


Although symbols on packaging can help, they can be confusing at times. Check out Repak’s website for a breakdown of what the symbols mean. 

Sustainable Tourism Network is a profit-for-purpose company. Our purpose is simple; we want to transform the Irish tourism industry into one that respects and protects the environment, but also supports local communities and makes better places for people to live and work in. Learn more about what we do here.