Our Top Household Recycling Tips
Not exactly sure which bin your household item belongs in?
Don’t worry we’ve got you sorted with our household recycling guide!
With everyone spending more time at home, our recycling bins have become fuller and there is often some confusion about what exactly goes in each of our three bins: general waste, organic waste, and recycling bin. We have compiled a list of the top household items we get queries about to answer your questions quickly.
Dirty cans, jars & bottles
These should all be put cleaned out and put into the recycling bin. If an item in the recycling bin is heavily soiled/dirty, it will contaminate the whole bin.
With advancements in recycling technology, there is no longer a need to remove plastic caps from bottles before recycling. Now it’s easier than ever to recycle those plastic bottles!
Ah, the pizza box! One that causes confusion for sure.
Depending on where you get your pizza, many pizza boxes are now compostable, meaning you can put it in the organic (brown) bin. Otherwise, if your pizza box is not soiled, you can put it in the recycling bin. If your pizza box is soiled, and not compostable, you will need to put it in the general waste bin.
If it’s clean, absolutely it can be recycled! But soiled, aluminium foil will need to be put in the general waste bin.
We also tested some of the Connacht Rugby players on their household recycling skills.
Let’s see how they got on!
Just remember, all items in the recycling bin should be clean, dry & loose.
Top Rubbish Removal Tips for your Next DIY Project
Rubbish removal is something every home and business owner must be aware of when starting a DIY project. Here at The City Bin Co., we want to remove the hassle of waste clearance by offering three rubbish removal solutions in Galway and Dublin.
To eliminate some of the stress of undertaking a DIY project, we have put together our top tips for dealing with waste from any DIY project.
Consider the size of your DIY project…
The amount of waste you create will depend on the type of project undertaken. Firstly, the size of the DIY project indicates how much waste is likely to be produced during work. Secondly, you will have a better idea of what types of waste likely to be met along the way.
Figuring out how much waste your DIY project will create will help determine if you need to hire a skip, if you should avail of a junk collection service, or if you can manage to dispose of your waste at your local recycling centre.
Educate yourself on waste disposal procedures…
Improving your knowledge is an important part of the DIY rubbish removal process. There are many useful blogs and tutorials available online. Some great topics to start with include environmental waste disposal, DIY guides, best rubbish removal practices in Ireland, waste recycling and upcycling ideas. Once you understand waste removal best practices you will be better equipped for getting rid of junk from your property.
Pick a suitable rubbish removal solution…
We have two hassle-free cost-effective options for rubbish removal in Dublin and Galway, Skip Hire, and our Junk Collection service.
We have Skip sizes to suit any size DIY project you’re starting.
- Our mini skip is perfect for DIY jobs, general clear-outs, or renovations on your business or home.
- Our standard skip is suitable for large home or work clear-outs, as well as bigger home renovations.
- Our large skip is the perfect option for large projects, or large producers of waste domestically, industrially or for your business.
Junk Collection Service
Our Junk Collection Service is a great low-cost alternative to skip hire, or if you do not have enough space on your premises for a skip. Our hassle-free Junk Collection Service is a simple and effective rubbish removal option for households and businesses undertaking DIY projects.
Happy DIY-ing! & if you book one of our collections, we’d love to see your ‘before & after’ shots!
Why should we Compost?
No matter how much we try to reduce food waste there will always be scraps left over such as banana skins and eggshells. Composting is the perfect way to get the final use out of your food.
Benefits of composting
- Cut waste expenses and save money
On average, food, and garden waste accounts for over 1/3 of household waste. By preventing food waste and composting what you can, you will save money on your waste bill.
- Create healthy soil
With compost, you are creating rich humus, a magical ingredient when it comes to creating healthy soil. It is full of nutrients and life and is even better when you make it at home. Compost improves soil fertility, texture, structure, and moisture, which inevitably produces healthier, disease-resistant plants.
- Prevent waste and conserve resources
By composting your food and garden waste, you can divert as much as 30% of household waste away from your bin. This diverts waste from landfill, reducing methane gas and therefore reducing the rate of global warming and climate change. By composting your food and garden waste, you also contribute to saving the fuel needed to move the waste around.
- Protect biodiversity
Peat moss, taken from Ireland’s bogs and peatlands, is commonly used to improve soil. However, these peatlands are home to many species of flora and fauna, many of which are endangered. By making your own compost at home, you will reduce the need to purchase peat moss and therefore help protect the biodiversity of Ireland’s peatlands.
By composting at home, you are helping the planet and saving money, whilst giving your garden the magical resource it needs to thrive.
An Easy Guide to Composting
Homemade compost is a magical resource for your garden and will have your plants thriving, whilst also helping to keep your waste costs down. According to StopFoodWaste.ie, “composting is the natural process of decomposition that turns organic materials like garden waste and vegetable food scraps into a dark, crumbly and earthy smelling material”.
Use the compost to improve your flower garden, lawn or feed your growing veggies. Once you get your compost pile started, you will find that it’s an easy way to reuse kitchen scraps and other organic materials, whilst helping your garden thrive.
How to make compost?
To make the perfect compost you should have a 50:50 blend of materials that are rich in nitrogen and carbon. Nitrogen can be retrieved from grass clippings or other lush, green material, and carbon comes from woody material, such as cardboard or woody stems. For every bucket of green material, you should have the same amount of brown.
Ensure your compost does not have too much nitrogen, or grass cuttings, as this will result in a very smelly compost bin. On the other hand, if your compost has too much carbon, the composting process will be very slow.
Step 1: Combine the green and brown materials.
Place your compost bin directly on the soil – worms and other micro-organisms will speed up the composting process. Chicken wire at the base will keep rodents out. Add an equal mix of green and brown materials.
Step 2: Water your pile.
You want your compost pile to have the consistency of a wet sponge, so you will need to sprinkle water over it regularly. Be careful not to add too much water or the microorganisms in your pile will become waterlogged and drown. If this happens, your pile will rot instead of compost. Your compost pile should feel warm if you reach your hand into the middle of the pile.
Step 3: Stir up your pile.
You should provide your compost pile with oxygen by turning it with a garden fork once a week. Turning the pile will help it compost faster and prevents material from developing an odour.
Step 4: Feed your garden.
When the compost no longer gives off heat and becomes dry, brown, and crumbly, it’s ready to feed to your garden. – this will take about 2-6 months. Add about 4 to 6 inches of compost to your flower beds and into your pots at the beginning of each planting season.
What to compost?
Nitrogen-rich waste (green):
- Grass clippings
- Annual weeds
- Fruit and veg peelings.
- Nettle leaves
Carbon-rich waste (brown):
- Hedge trimmings
- Paper or newspaper (loosely scrunched up is best)
- Paper towels
- Paper bags
You can also add eggshells, natural fibres (wool or cotton), and wood ash (not too much).
Is there anything you can’t compost?
There are some items such as food waste that you should not be home composted as it creates problems with odours, rodents, etc. Here is a list of items that should not be composted:
- Diseased plants
- Perennial weeds
- Cooked food
- Citrus (slow to rot and very acidic, which reduces worm activity)
- Raw meat
- Dairy products
- Gloss or colour-printed paper
- Ash from coal fires
- Cat or dog faeces
- Autumn leaves – these are best used to make leaf mould.
Compost is incredibly easy to make, environmentally friendly and a wonderful treat for your garden plants. With just some kitchen scraps and patience, your garden will be thriving. Read about all the benefits of composting at home here.
DIY Pizza Oven – Weekend Project
Fancy yourself as the next Jamie Oliver, casually knocking up the perfect pizza in your outdoor pizza oven? Us too! But while we can’t help with the cooking skills, we can help with the DIY skills involved in creating the perfect upcycled pizza oven. Our colleague Eimhin takes us through the process he used for his project. Buon Appetito!
What you will need:
– Fire Bricks (we used ones from an old storage heater)
– 2 crates
– A board to go over crates
– Exercise ball
– Chimney pipe (we used an old truck exhaust)
– Portland cement
– Chicken wire
An important element to think about before you start building is where you want to site your oven. Unlike a BBQ, you can’t move your pizza oven once it’s built. Choose a spacious well-ventilated area where there are no flammable objects like plants, home heating oil tanks, or bins.
Step 1: Top dome mould build
The exercise ball should have its diameter written on it or on the packaging it came in, mine was 96 centimetres. You will need a table or wooden surface to use as the pizza oven base, we used a piece of scrap wood from the garage.
Cut out your circle (sand down the timber before inserting the gym ball to prevent it puncturing) insert the ball so that an upper hemisphere is jammed into the wood securely keeping the air valve facing down to the ground (once inserted inflate more if needed until the ball is wedged), and your dome is created. You will need to place timber under the ball in order to keep it still, I placed an old beer keg under my one.
Then we moved onto the door mouth entrance. Measure your dome height (ours was 12.5 inches) and choose a door height that is not quite as high (we went with a door height of 7.8 inches). Take your time with making the mould, you want to get these details correct.
Once you think your mould is ready, cover the top half of the gym ball and the oven door with food wrap to stop the vermiculite cement mortar from sticking permanently.
Step 2: Mould the Chicken Wire
Being careful not to puncture the ball, shape the chicken wire around the mould, by doing this now it makes it easier to attach it when doing the concrete.
Step 3: Make the concrete mix
To make the vermiculite cement mortar, use a plastic plant pot or small bucket to measure out 6 parts vermiculite and 1-part cement. Begin to add water slowly. You don’t want a watery slurry, but mouldable clumps. If you add too much water, you can always throw more dry mix in. treat this mix like a sponge cake as the air pockets are very important for the heat value, do not use a cement mixer as this will knock out the air.
Add in your ‘chimney’ part, we used an old waste truck exhaust from a truck.
Start adding the first layer of vermiculite cement mixture to the sides of the gym ball and the mouth structure of the oven with your hands, clump by clump. When the first layer is complete, add a further layer until the dome is about 20-30mm thick.
Add the chicken wire reinforcement There is no need to let the first layer dry before you begin the second layer.
Step 4: Finish detail on the Dome top
Once your concrete has hardened (mine took 24 hours) you can remove whatever support you were using to keep the exercise ball in pace (we used a keg), you will need to deflate the exercise ball to get it out from under the mould. You can also remove the oven mouth support structure.
Now you should be left with your pizza oven dome structure, looking something like what we have below.
Step 5: Firebrick Floor
So, the top of the oven is done. Now it is time to work on the bottom. For the firebrick floor, we used firebricks from an old storage heater.
It is important to lay your brick floor in a herringbone pattern. Reason being if you lay your bricks parallel to the door, when you slide your pizza in you run the risk of catching or chipping a front brick edge.
I slid the top dome onto a piece of plywood, traced it out, then took my original circle cut out that I cut out for the exercise ball (giving me the inside circle of the dome) and had my two templates.
We also added some pavers for the oven to sit on.
I then mixed up a small batch of Portland cement and SS needles and trowelled on a thin coat on the floor base. I basically used it as a “glue” for the two pieces.
We then brought over the top and carefully put on the dowels or supports that you’re using spanning to the bricks. We then aligned it and lifted the rear, slid out the dowel and carefully lowered. Then did it in the front.
Then once they are aligned it was just a skim coat around the outside to seal the seam.
We would recommend waiting a couple of weeks before you get your pizza oven fired up to ensure it is good and cured. If you are unsure, just stick your face in the door and smell. If it smells damp or wet get it a few more days.
Step 6: ‘Curing’ the Oven
To fire cure the pizza oven, start small… do not put a roaring fire in there right away!
After 3 weeks we plan to do a small fire (2-3 twigs) let them burn completely and die out.
Then repeat the next day with a medium fire (3-4 twigs) burn and die out.
Then another medium fire… but add to it to keep it at a medium fire for an hour or so
Then another medium to larger fire, burn for an hour…
Then you should be ready for a nice roaring fire.
Time for pizza!