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The Importance of Separating Food Waste — Reducing Contamination and Enhancing Composting

Proper waste segregation is a critical aspect of effective waste management. One of the most significant components of this process is the separation of food waste. In this blog post, we will explore how separating food waste can (a) reduce contamination of recyclables and (b) recover food waste for composting, contributing to a more sustainable environment.

Reducing Contamination of Recyclables

When food waste is mixed with recyclables, it can contaminate the entire batch. This contamination makes it difficult, if not impossible, to recycle these materials effectively. Contaminated recyclables often end up in landfills, defeating the purpose of recycling programs.

Impact of Contamination:

  • Quality Reduction: Food residues can degrade the quality of recyclable materials, making them less suitable for processing.
  • Increased Costs: Contaminated recyclables require additional sorting and cleaning, increasing the costs for recycling facilities.
  • Landfill Overflow: Contaminated recyclables often end up in landfills, contributing to waste management challenges.

Recovering Food Waste for Composting

Separating food waste not only reduces contamination but also allows for the recovery of organic materials for composting. Composting is an environmentally friendly way to manage food waste, turning it into valuable compost that can enrich soil and support agriculture.

Benefits of Composting:

  • Soil Health: Compost adds essential nutrients to the soil, improving its fertility and structure.
  • Reduced Greenhouse Gases: Composting organic waste reduces methane emissions from landfills, a potent greenhouse gas.
  • Resource Conservation: Using compost reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, conserving natural resources.

In Ireland, approximately 750,000 tonnes of food waste were generated in 2022. Composting facilities accepted around 590,000 tonnes of organic waste for treatment, showcasing the potential of composting in managing food waste effectively.

Steps to Proper Food Waste Segregation

  1. Set Up Separate Bins: Use dedicated bins for food waste, recyclables, and general waste.
  2. Educate Household Members: Ensure everyone in the household understands the importance of separating food waste.
  3. Use Compostable Bags: Line your food waste bin with compostable bags to make the process cleaner and easier.
  4. Compost at Home: If possible, set up a composting system at home to manage your food waste directly.

Separating food waste is a simple yet powerful step towards improving waste management. By reducing contamination of recyclables and recovering valuable organic material for composting, we can contribute to a more sustainable environment. Ireland’s progress in recycling and composting highlights the importance of continued efforts in waste segregation. Let’s all play our part in the ‘Sort It’ campaign and make a positive impact on our planet.

#SortItCampaign #FoodWaste #Composting #Recycling #Sustainability #EcoFriendly #WasteManagement #SaveThePlanet

By participating in proper waste segregation, you are not only helping to reduce landfill waste but also supporting a circular economy. Together, we can make a significant difference.

 

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Sort It! Campaign Launch

We’re excited to launch this campaign to promote proper waste segregation and recycling. This initiative aims to raise awareness about the importance of managing waste responsibly to create a sustainable future for Ireland.

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Why ‘Sort It’?

Proper waste segregation is essential for effective recycling, reducing landfill waste, and protecting our environment. When waste is sorted correctly, recyclable materials can be efficiently processed and reused, minimising environmental pollution and conserving natural resources.

Ireland’s Recycling Landscape

Despite Ireland’s strong track record in recycling, there are challenges ahead. In 2021, Ireland generated 3.17 million tonnes of municipal waste, with a recycling rate of 41% for this waste stream. Packaging waste recycling rates stood at 58%, a decrease from previous years​.

Key Statistics:

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  • Glass Recycling: 85%
  • Paper Recycling: 75%
  • Plastic Recycling: 32.7%
  • Metal Recycling: 69%
  • Wood Recycling: 66%​ (Repak)​.

While these rates are impressive, there is still room for improvement, especially in meeting the EU’s future recycling targets. Ireland aims to recycle 50% of all plastics by 2025 and 55% by 2030​ (TheJournal)​.

What to Expect

Over the next three months, we will share informative posts, tips, and success stories to help you become more recycling proactive. From understanding recycling symbols to learning how to compost, we’ve got a range of topics lined up to empower you with knowledge and practical advice.

Join Us in Making a Difference

Together, we can create a cleaner, greener future. Follow our campaign, share your recycling tips, and let’s sort it out for a sustainable tomorrow!

Get Involved:

  • Follow Us: Stay updated with our latest posts and tips.
  • Share Your Story: Use the hashtag #SortItCampaign to share your recycling journey.
  • Spread the Word: Encourage your friends and family to join the campaign.

#SortItCampaign #RecycleRight #WasteManagement #GoGreen #EcoFriendly #ReduceReuseRecycle #SaveThePlanet #ZeroWaste

By participating in the ‘Sort It’ campaign, you are taking a step towards a more sustainable future. Let’s work together to make a significant impact on our environment!

TCBC RecyclingDay Feature

Oranmore Recycling Day 2024

TCBC RecyclingDay Email

FRIDAY JUNE 7 / 10am–4pm

THE CITY BIN CO. RECYCLING CENTRE, ORANMORE H91 EVW3

We’re supporting National Food Waste Recycling Week by hosting a recycling day this Friday June 7.
The perfect opportunity to declutter your home with a clear-out – while responsibly disposing of bulky waste materials!

WHAT TO BRING?

  • Any large / bulky items
  • Take advantage of free recycling options available for glass, clothes
  • And remember that all electrical (WEEE) items (Household items with a plug, including old washing machines, TVs, IT equipment, and mobile phones), are taken free

WE’LL ALSO HAVE…

  • Our mobile security shredding unit will be on-site Shredding personal documents for free
  • We’ll also have some free Kitchen Caddies to give away on the day
  • And we’ll have some free bags of Compost, but when they’re gone, they’re gone – so get there early!

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Tiglin Featured

Tiglin’s ‘shining’ example

TIGLIN provides assistance to those in need. From 28 Pearse Street and operating a 7 day a week day service onsite looking after the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our community while offer food to take away to  over two hundred meals  to people in homelessness, poverty & addiction. A lot of the donations come on a daily basis by the wonderful people at Foodcloud.

We first made contact with Tiglin when a tweet was picked up by our marketing team. Tiglin had huge frustrations with the cost of their waste and how it was being handled. Small bins, all general waste, being contaminated by the public was a particular recurring problem. The City Bin Co.’s John Farrell went to meet the front man of this organisation Ger Ganly and discussed how we could help them to take a more sustainable approach with their waste management. 

The result is that The Light House now has bins that are fit for purpose, with locks on them that people can’t ‘flytip’ into anymore. They have also added a compost bin to help with the segregation of this waste. The team is committed to their Earth Day Pledge and as a result of our work here, Tiglin have engaged with The City Bin Co. across all their sites.

Ger Ganley – A Unique Perspective

My name is Gerard Ganley and I have the unique opportunity of working and helping two amazing charities called Tiglin Challenge & Dublin Christian Mission. Tiglin Challenge & Dublin Christian Mission have services that help people who are disadvantaged and often crippled by addiction, homelessness, mental health issues. Dublin Christian Mission is mainly based in Dublin and Tiglin has services in Dublin, Wicklow & Kildare. 

We recently had a waste management/collection issue at one of our premises and our Chairman Aubrey Mc Carthy reached out to waste management companies via social media twitter to ask for help. The City Bin Co. and particularly John Farrell (Client Innovation Manager) got back in contact with us to help and during our conversations John and the company have agreed to support us and help us with reducing our general waste and become much more greener to the environment. When I first discussed about trying to reduce waste, damage to environment and costs it was a no brainer to take this support and help. 

This opportunity to reduce, recycle waste and be friendlier to society made me think of when I was 14 years old and losing my father and taking the wrong road that was leading to many wasted years of drug addiction. For many of those years I was very often told by others that I was a waster, I believed most times that I was a waster and felt like a piece of rubbish. From the age of 14 years old to the age of 28 years old I lived for drugs, my life was controlled and consumed by drugs and alcohol. I was a chronic heroin and crack cocaine addict at a young age of 22 years old. Life became more and more of a mess as the years rolled on and at age 28 years old I had became homeless on the streets of Dublin, and life was extremely difficult. I had decided through the help of a few individuals that I would get treatment and seek help. I went to a similar program as Tiglin and found a life beyond addiction thank God. Throughout the years since completing that residential program I’ve completed 2 higher diplomas, a degree, got married and have three beautiful children. I’ve worked helping those who have been crippled by addiction and who feel that their life is wasting away or like my own story maybe feel like a piece of rubbish. I never in my wildest dreams thought that my life could be changed and that I could become very useful in life. 

It’s amazing to see how waste can be recycled and used again. And a similarity of what was once waste or useless can be useful again!

 

If you would like more information on the Zero Project, please contact John Farrell, The City Bin Co. email john@citybin.com

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Fold Housing’s Zero Pledge

FOLD Housing provides apartments and houses for older people and families. In addition, the Association provides supported housing with 24 hour care for frail and older people.

FOLD Housing enhances the quality of life for many people in the community by providing a unique combination of accommodation and associated service options. These include: Housing-with-Care and day care for frail older people and people with dementia; sheltered housing; and general needs accommodation for families.

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The Fold Housing Team

We met with the Fold Housing Team earlier this year to investigate a better more inclusive way to recycle. We focused on two brand new developments in the Citywest part of Dublin namely Cuil Duin and The Mews. Both sites cater for approximately 25 units.

Karen Murphy is the Estate manager that introduced us to her team and worked with The City Bin Co.’s John Farrell to find a better and more cost-effective way to handle their waste.

  • We are currently testing the use of organic bin caddies in all of the units along with the use of a recycling bag to move waste
    from each unit to the bin stores.
  • The bin stores now have a general waste bin, a recycling bin, an organic bin and a glass bin.
  • All bin stores have clear signage that show what can go into each bin.
  • The difference is now significant with binstores achieving over 40% less general waste in the bins.
  • The opportunity to recycle has been embraced by all of the teams and is proving to be a big success.

The adoption of the Earth Day Pledge with the group of committed people in Fold Housing will only send the recycling statistics one way. The pledge will be extended across the full portfolio of sites over the next 12 months.

The goal is to achieve a greater recycling rate, a greater understanding of the significance of recycling to achieve the ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ Accrediatation.

 

If you would like more information on the Zero Project, please contact John Farrell, The City Bin Co. email john@citybin.com

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10 ways that businesses can benefit from embracing ‘Earth Day’

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Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd, and it’s a day to raise awareness about environmental protection and sustainability. While it’s traditionally been viewed as a day for individuals to make small changes to reduce their environmental footprint, businesses can also benefit from embracing Earth Day. In fact, businesses that prioritise sustainability and environmental protection are more likely to attract and retain customers, improve their brand reputation, and save money on utilities and materials.

In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 ways that businesses can benefit from embracing Earth Day, from enhanced corporate social responsibility to access to new markets and increased employee engagement. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, there are many ways to celebrate Earth Day and reap the rewards of a sustainable business model.

Enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility: Celebrating Earth Day can help businesses highlight their commitment to sustainability and environmental protection, improving their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) image.

Improved brand reputation: By embracing Earth Day, businesses can show that they are committed to protecting the environment and reducing their carbon footprint, which can lead to improved brand reputation among customers, investors, and other stakeholders.

Cost savings: Businesses that embrace Earth Day can identify and implement sustainable practices that can reduce energy and water consumption, lower waste disposal costs, and save money on utilities and materials.

Increased customer loyalty: Consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of environmental protection and sustainability, and they prefer to do business with companies that share their values. By embracing Earth Day, businesses can attract and retain environmentally conscious customers.

Access to new markets: Some consumers and businesses are willing to pay a premium for environmentally friendly products and services. By embracing Earth Day, businesses can tap into this growing market and expand their customer base.

Employee engagement: Celebrating Earth Day can improve employee morale and engagement by giving employees a sense of purpose and pride in their work. Employees are more likely to be loyal to companies that prioritize sustainability and environmental protection.

Regulatory compliance: Celebrating Earth Day can help businesses stay ahead of regulatory requirements and comply with environmental regulations. Implementing sustainable practices can also help businesses avoid fines and penalties.

Innovation: Celebrating Earth Day can inspire businesses to innovate and develop new sustainable products and services, leading to new revenue streams and a competitive advantage.

Partnerships and collaborations: Embracing Earth Day can help businesses build relationships with other organizations, such as environmental NGOs and government agencies, and collaborate on sustainability initiatives.

Long-term viability: Embracing Earth Day is not just good for business in the short term, but it also helps ensure the long-term viability of the company by protecting the environment and preserving natural resources for future generations.

To see how The City Bin Co. can help with your journey to greater sustainability please contact us

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Checklist to a More Sustainable Home

Building materials and methods: If you’re planning on doing any building work in your home, consider how you can do this work with sustainable materials and methods. Things to consider investing in include passive solar design, smart metering, high performing windows and doors, sustainable roofing etc. If you are doing any building work, reuse and recycle building waste as much as possible.

Insulation: The better insulated your home is, the more likely it will have a higher BER rating. Although insulating your home can be costly, you could save money in the long run by reducing your heating bills. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) provide various insulation grants including grants for attic; internal and external walls; and cavity wall insulation.

Energy Source: Have you ever considered switching to green energy? Having solar panels fitted to your home can be expensive but could save you money in the long run. The SEAI provide grants for people who want to use renewable energy, such as the solar electricity grant and the solar water heating grant.

Energy consumption: Are there appliances in your home that you could manage without and which require energy usage? Rather than using the dryer to dry clothes, could you dry your clothes on a line in the garden or on a clothes horse indoors? Likewise, could you wash the dishes by hand rather than use the dishwasher?

Windows and doors: If you have old windows and doors that aren’t glazed well, you could find your home has lots of draughts. To limit the amount of warm air escaping, you could use a draught seal which is an easy and cheap way of sealing your windows. If you had the money to replace the windows with newer ones that would be ideal, and you’ll likely reap the benefits when it comes to your energy costs.

Ventilation: Place a chimney balloon in your fireplace when it’s not in use will ensure heat doesn’t escape up the chimney. You can also check your air vents in the house. They may need to be cleaned or replaced to ensure better airflow in your house.

Lighting: Replace old light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. This will reduce your electricity bill and will cut down on your carbon footprint. Turn off lights when they are not required as this will also reduce your energy consumption.

Appliances: When buying new appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, try to buy the most energy-efficient options. The more energy-efficient the cheaper it will be to run. When discarding of old or broken appliances, try to do so ethically by recycling at a registered recycling centre.

Decorating: If you are decorating your home, use eco-paints. They emit fewer toxins and are more environmentally friendly to manufacture. When buying furniture for your home consider natural options such as wood or leather. Although they might be more expensive than synthetic options, they could last longer and are also less toxic to produce.

Cleaning: An easy and cheap way to ensure you’re living more sustainably is to change your cleaning products to eco-friendly alternatives. Many household cleaning products have toxins that eco-friendly versions don’t have. All supermarkets have environmentally friendly sections in their stores, so you don’t have to shop elsewhere to avail of these products.

Recycle waste: Reduce single-use plastics and make sure to recycle as much as possible. You could also try to buy food that isn’t in any packaging to reduce the amount you have to recycle yourself. Consider getting a compost bin in your garden where food waste can go, again reducing your waste disposal going to landfill. Likewise buying products that are made from recycled materials is better for the environment too.

Water saving: Have you considered installing a water harvester? They are inexpensive and a great way of conserving and collecting and storing rainwater for alternative uses such as watering your plants and cleaning your car.

Get advice: From podcasts, to blog articles and the internet, there is a whole host of information out there on how to live more sustainably and the benefits to our environment, health and wellbeing. Pick up tips and advice from others who are living sustainably.

Change your habits: When it comes to incorporating more ethical and sustainable practices, we can all make a difference. Simple changes in our attitude and thinking can go a long way to ensuring our homes are sustainable and eco-friendly.

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TCBC Blog 7 Featured

Our Guide to Repurposing Old Household Items – 7 Upcycling Ideas

October is National Reuse Month, a great opportunity to learn more about reusing, repurposing, and upcycling unused household items. These three words can be encapsulated in one simple definition; taking a thing you are not using and putting it to another use.

Now we’re not telling you to hoard all your unused household items until you have rooms filled with junk. However, if you find you have some of the following products lurking around your home, below are 7 ideas for repurposing everyday household items you probably haven’t considered!


1

T-shirts

According to Oxfam Ireland, Irish people dump 225,000 tonnes of clothing every year. Instead of throwing away old t-shirts, why not repurpose them into tote bags that can be used for groceries etc. To create a reusable shopping bag; cut the sleeves and neck out of the t-shirt, cut strips along the bottom hem, and tie the strips of fabric together (you can cut the fringing off if preferred).


2

Wellies

Repurpose outgrown wellies and make colourful garden plant pots – a simple upcycling project that the whole family can get involved in.


3

Single Socks

We all have sock singles lying around the house, and where their mates disappear to is an unsolved mystery in every household. Unless you are rocking the odd socks, repurposing them is a great idea. Odd socks make great rags that you can fit your hand into to clean anything around the house, from blinds to toilets, to ceiling fan blades.


4

Glass Jars

Glass jars can be upcycled into beautiful tea light holders. Create a stained-glass effect on your glass using Sharpies and pop a tea light inside.


5

Egg Cartons

Egg cartons are another disposable household items that can be upcycled to make a few useful items. One option is to repurpose your used egg cartons into an organiser for small household items, such as jewellery, office supplies or beads.

Another useful household item that can be made from paper egg cartons is seed sprouting containers. Split up your egg carton into single seed pots and plant your seeds. Once the seedlings get big enough to plant, simply wet the whole egg carton cup and plant it into the soil. The soggy paper egg carton will break down over time in the dirt.


6

Newspapers

Reuse newspaper as a paper towel when cleaning glass and mirrors. Newspaper won’t leave behind any fibres or residue, just a streak-free shine!


7

Cardboard Toilet Paper Rolls

Toilet paper rolls are something we all have excess of at home. Of course, you can throw these in the recycling bin, however repurposing your paper rolls to make these electronic cord organisers is another great option and will solve the battle of the tangled wires.


Let’s celebrate National Reuse Month by reusing, repurposing, or upcycling some household items that often get discarded without a second thought. We’d love to see pictures of your recreations!

 

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The City Bin Co. Junk Collection Guide


How our Junk Service works

Our Junk collection service is staffed by professionals who know how to deal with your discarded goods. The rubbish removal process couldn’t be easier:

  1. Consider how much junk you have
  2. Book your slot here
  3. Say goodbye to your rubbish
  4. Relax and enjoy your clean space

What Junk can we take?

Old mattresses, couches and armchairs, garden waste, old washing machines and dishwashers, old furniture, waste from a garage clear out, and pretty much anything else that is not classified as hazardous waste.


Benefits of using a Junk removal service

  1. Convenience: hiring a junk removal service is a pain-free way of getting rid of unwanted furniture, junk, bulk trash, appliances, garden waste and just about any item cluttering up your home or business.
  2. Efficient: Simply book your junk collection slot here and leave your rubbish outside on your chosen day. We will take care of the rest!
  3. Affordable: rubbish removal services are often cheaper than hiring a skip.
  4. Fast: Forget loading a skip for days or taking time out of your Saturday to take a trip to the Recycling Centre. Our professional Junk collectors will get the ‘Job Done’ in no time at all!

Book your Junk Collection slot and have a clean space without any hassle!

TCBC Blog B2B7 Featured

7 Ways to Make Your Business More Sustainable

Sustainability can be defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. There are three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social.

In terms of business, a sustainable or green enterprise refers to one that has a minimal negative impact or possibly even a positive impact on the environment, community, society, or economy.

There are many ways your business can become more sustainable, but focusing on environmental impact, here are our top tips to boost your business’ efforts:


1 Go Paperless

A significant amount of paper printed in the workplace ends up in the bin before the day is out. Almost all formerly paper-based documents can now be handled digitally, for example, invoices, timesheets etc., making switching to digital simpler. Moreover, storing documents on cloud-based servers rather than print hard copies saves paper but also means you will never lose anything important.


2 Recycle More

About 75% of waste materials that end up in the grey bin could be recycled. The reason that a lot of people don’t recycle more is that it requires a little planning. However, at The City Bin Co., we will do this for you by;

  • Carrying out a waste audit of what your business throws away and what’s recyclable.
  • Putting a recycling plan in place & providing staff recycling training
  • Stationing recycling bins throughout your office
  • Providing a Bindex detailing your business’s recycling rates, allowing you to easily track improvements made and cost savings.

3 Switch to LED lighting

Bright LED lightbulbs use 4 to 10 times less energy than halogen and incandescent bulbs. One of the easiest ways to conserve energy is to switch out your current lightbulbs and replace them with LEDs. Although LEDs can be more expensive up front, they will pay for themselves over time through reduced energy usage and fewer lightbulb replacements.


4 Give your employees reusable water bottles and keep cups

An easy sustainability win is to ban plastic bottles at work and give your employees reusable bottles and keep cups. This change will need to be facilitated by installing water fountains or water coolers so that employees use these sources for drinking water. At The City Bin Co., we all use our own reusable cups, which saves the equivalent of 64,000 takeaway coffee cups a year.


5 Use Sustainable Products

Whether you are a restaurant or office block, your business can use sustainable products, such as printer paper, cleaning products or to-go containers.


6 Start Composting

If you own a restaurant or café that produces used coffee grinds and leftover food scraps, composting is not only a great way to divert waste from landfill but will also reduce your waste bill and it makes a brilliant resource to have your plants thriving. If you don’t have a garden to use your compost in, you can give away free compost to customers or donate it to local gardens.


7 Create a Sustainability Culture

For your organisation to be truly sustainable, you need to get buy-in from your employees. There are many ways in which you can instil green habits within your employees, here are some examples:

  • Hang clear signage and posters that act as reminders to recycle and turn off lights etc.
  • Encourage employees to take part in “greener” activities by rewarding sustainable practices such as riding a bike to work instead of driving.
  • Make sure bins are clearly signposted and in the most useful location for your employees to dispose of waste correctly.

If you are interested in discovering how we can help you meet your sustainable business goals, click here. 

If you have any great sustainable business tips, we would love to hear them – contact us on any of our social media accounts below!