Longford citizens and businesses urged to use a brown bin as National Food Waste Recycling Week is launched

Recently-introduced legislation means that everyone is now entitled to a brown bin service

Press Release: 3 June 2024 

Longford citizens and businesses are being urged to use a brown bin to recycle their food waste and reduce their carbon footprint as National Food Waste Recycling Week is launched.

Now in its third year, National Food Waste Recycling Week runs from Sunday, 2 June to Sunday, 9 June 2024. A MyWaste.ie campaign, it is supported by Longford County Council.

During the week and throughout the year, everyone is encouraged to recycle food waste correctly in their homes and in their workplaces. The public are also reminded that new legislation means that everyone in Ireland is now entitled to a brown bin service to help to dispose of their food waste correctly.

Longford County Council Environmental Awareness Officer, Carla McGoey said “The recent introduction of new legislation for households and businesses means that everyone in County Longford with a kerbside waste collection service is now entitled to have their brown bin collected. We urge both citizens and businesses that are yet to use a brown bin to please start and make a positive change for our environment.”

In Ireland, it is estimated that the average household could save around €700 a year by reducing their food waste. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research estimates that 750,000 tonnes of food each year is thrown out. Food waste which incorrectly goes to landfill is a significant contributor to climate change. EPA research also shows that between 8% to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions is attributable to food waste.

Preventing and reducing food waste has environmental and financial benefits. New research of over 1,000 adults found that 67% of Irish householders now use a brown bin. Conducted by iReach on behalf of MyWaste.ie, this research also showed that helping to tackle climate change was a top motivation for using a brown bin.

What can go into the brown bin?

All types of food, including raw and cooked meat and fish, plate scrapings, along with fruit and vegetable peelings can go into the brown bin. Non-food items such as food-soiled paper napkins, paper towels, greasy pizza boxes, grass clippings and light garden waste can also be put in the brown bin. 

MyWaste.ie and Longford County Council Top Three Ways to Prevent Food Waste

    1. Plan Your Meals 

    Before you go to the shops, shop at home! Check your own cupboards, fridge, and freezer. Plan your meals, only get the ingredients you need and make a shopping list.

    2. Store Food Properly 

    Proper storage can extend the life of your food and prevent spoilage. Make sure to store perishable items like fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator and keep dry goods, such as pasta and rice, in airtight containers.

    3. Use Your Brown Bin!

    Even with the best intentions, some food waste is unavoidable. Instead of throwing it in the general waste bin, put it in the brown bin. Use a kitchen food waste bin with compostable bin liners to separate food waste from other waste. When full, this waste can go into a brown bin. 

    Speaking about National Food Waste Recycling Week, Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Colm Murray said, “This is an important initiative which we are supporting in Longford. It is a friendly reminder to encouraging us all to avoid food waste as much as we can, but to also dispose of unavoidable food waste properly in our brown bins. Reducing food waste helps our pockets, while using the brown bin helps our planet. I encourage everyone to use this week to make this small but positive change.”

    Longford County Council Chief Executive Paddy Mahon added, “The Council welcomes initiatives such as National Food Waste Recycling Week which highlights what we can do to tackle climate change. The Council is also proactively working to improve on our climate impacts. This work includes the recent introduction of our ambitious Climate Action Plan.”

    MyWaste.ie Resource Efficiency Officer Pauline McDonogh concluded, “We’ve made great progress in Ireland with over two thirds of people now using a brown bin, but as we see from the research, there is still a high proportion of food waste that could be recycled going into our general waste bins.”

    For updates, follow Longford County Council on social media and visit Longfordcoco.ie.