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Posted on Feb 1, 2017 in Blog, General News, Interview, Waste

Confused about what to put into your recycling bin…?


If so, listen back here to Voice coordinator Mindy O’Brien speaking on Newstalk Drive on Friday January 27th!



Listen from 10 minutes before the end.


In this interview, Mindy explains what goes into your recycling bin, and what does not:


Do not put in your recycling bin:

  1. Paper and cardboard contaminated or encrusted with with food
    • Why? Paper and cardboard goes into a ‘bath’ at recycling facilities, and if food is on the item to be recycled, the entire bath will be sullied.
  2. Plastic bags
    • Why? Plastic bags tend to get caught in the recycling machines and can disrupt the entire process at the Material Recycling Facility (MRF).
  3. Wet paper and cardboard
    • Why? Moisture harms paper fibers, leaving them brittle and generally unsuitable for making into new paper.
  4. Plastic film like clingfilm
    • Why? Again, this could get caught in the recycling machinery.


So what can be recycled? Everything else that is plastic, aluminium, paper or cardboard – provided it is clean! This includes:


  1. LDPE – Low density polyethylene (e.g. sandwich bag)
  2. HDPE – Hard density polyethylene (e.g. plastic milk jug)
  3. Clean and dry paper and cardboard
  4. Aluminium cans


In a nutshell? Don’t put plastic bags in the recycling bin, but better yet, avoid using them altogether! Only put clean plastic in the recycling bin, and don’t put paper or cardboard with food encrusted on it.


The ideal? We should have a separate collection system for plastic, metals, food and paper/cardboard! (see picture)

Recycle Concept.

Recycle Concept.


Keen to learn more, then watch Eco Eye (series 15, episode 3) investigating Ireland’s relationship with waste. You can catch it on RTE Player here.