Green Tips

After my recent talk at the Sandmillers, I summarise some of the main tips on recycling that we discussed:

E.U. Recycling Targets

Currently Ireland recycles approximately 30% of all plastics in use in the country. Recycling targets for packaging are very challenging, by 2025 the target set by the EU is to recycle 50% of all plastic and by 2030 55%. All of us can play a part in helping Ireland achieve EU and national targets. (Source:

Household Recycling Bin

All hard and soft plastics, paper, cardboard, tins, cans and foil can be put into your household recycling bin once they are clean, dry and loose.  Containers with lots of residue from food or other products can not only contaminate the rest of your clean recycling but also other households’ recycling once it’s all compacted together in the truck. If you are unable to clean it, it should be placed into the general waste bin.

Mixed Materials

When there are different types of material, they should be separated in order that they can be recycled. However, when an item is made of different types of material which cannot be easily separated, these cause a problem. For example, single use coffee cups are typically made of paper but they may also contain plastic. So these coffee cups should be placed in the general waste. If they have the ‘certified compostable’ symbol then they can go into your compost/brown bin. If you’re unsure, don’t risk contamination and place in the general waste bin. For more information on symbols and their meaning, please visit

Recycling Centre

Items such as glass bottles, batteries, light bulbs, electrical items, aerosol cans, textiles, and polystyrene should not be placed in your household recycling bin but should be brought to your local recycling centre. Check your local recycling centre for more information on what they accept.

General Waste

Items which cannot be recycled and must be placed into your general waste bin include nappies, wipes, kitchen cloth and sponges, used plasters and pens. Items which cannot be cleaned such as toothpaste tube must go into the general waste also.

For lots of helpful videos and information on recycling visit

In the next edition of the SandMill News, I will give some tips on how to reduce waste. If you have a tip that you would like to share, then please let me know at

Rachel Richardson

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