Household waste disposal


Local authorities must arrange for the collection, disposal and recovery of household waste in your area. In general, waste collections are carried out by private operators every week or two, depending on the type of waste. Some operators collect different types of waste on different days.

Your local authority can advise you on waste disposal and recycling facilities in your area.

How is my household waste collected?

Many waste collectors use a wheelie bin system to collect waste. You may get several wheelie bins, with each taking a different type of waste.

Some waste collectors use bin bags. If this is the case, you will need to attach a pre-paid tag to each bag. If you do not add a tag to your bin bag, your waste will not be collected. Your waste collector will tell you where to buy the tags.

Depending on where you live, you may have a kerbside collection or a communal bin system. Collection procedures vary so you should check this with your waste collector.

How do I separate my household waste?

Waste collectors have a colour-coded system for separating household waste. Usually, brown bins are for organic waste, green bins are for recyclable waste and black bins are for general waste. Your waste collector will provide detailed information about what goes in each bin or bag.

For more information on what to do with your household waste, go to

Organic waste

Organic waste is food and garden waste. It should be put in the brown bin. A brown bin should be supplied to every household in Ireland. The only exception is small, remote areas where a separate brown bin collection would be difficult. So, if you live in an area with a population of 500 people or more, you should get a brown bin or food waste recycling service. This includes people living in apartment blocks. The Government has also made specific commitments (pdf) about improving food waste services for people living in apartments. If your operator does not provide this service, you should contact the waste management unit in your local authority.


All brown bin waste should be compostable. Composting is the natural way of recycling organic material. It is good for cutting down on household waste. Read more in our document on composting.

There is more useful information on disposing of food waste on

Recyclable waste

A lot of household waste can be put in the green bin and recycled. Recycling saves energy, reduces waste in landfill and is good for the environment. Local authorities must ensure that there are adequate facilities for recycling. Find out more in our document about recycling household waste.

General waste

General waste cannot be recycled or composted and is sent to landfill. Read more in our document on landfill sites.

How are waste collection fees calculated?

Flat rate fees for household waste collections are being phased out. If you have a flat rate contract with your waste collector, you should not be offered a new one when it is up for renewal or you move operators. All new contracts should have weight based or per lift charges. Some contracts may have a combination of the two.

Collection fees and charging structures vary between different private operators. You should shop around for a service that best suits your needs.

You can also dispose of certain types of waste for free at recycling centres. However, some centres may charge a small entry fee. You may also be charged extra for certain items, such as mattresses or carpets, or for particularly large quantities of waste.

If you use a landfill site, there are entry charges for cars and car trailers. Vans are charged at a commercial rate. For more details on these charges, check with the relevant recycling centre or landfill site, or your local authority’s website.

What should I do with bulky waste?

If you have a large volume of waste to get rid of, you can hire a skip from a private waste collection company. Bulky waste can also be brought to civic amenity centres or landfill sites. Some local authorities operate occasional bulk waste collections and will advertise this service if and when it occurs. Bulky items like carpets, furniture or fridges should never be left out for the regular refuse collection.

For information on disposing of electrical or electronic equipment, see our document on Waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

Page edited: 18 February 2021