A week-long campaign has kicked off aiming to encourage individuals and households across the nation to recycle more of their food waste.

Ireland wastes around 800,000t of food each year, which, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is estimated to cost the average Irish household €60 per month or €700 per year, amounting to a national cost of €1.29bn annually.

This year's national food waste recycling week campaign seeks to emphasise the importance of properly separating food waste from all packaging, such as plastic or other containers, to prevent contamination at compost and anaerobic digestion facilities.

By encouraging higher-quality recycling, the initiative will help divert this resource from landfill.

The recycled food waste can then be transformed into renewable energy and organic fertilisers for use in horticulture and agriculture throughout Ireland through the process of anaerobic digestion.


New national legislation will be introduced later this year, making it mandatory for waste management companies to provide food waste recycling bins for compostable materials starting from 1 January 2024.

This legislation is expected to drastically change Ireland's approach to food waste management, significantly reducing waste and improving recycling rates.

Circular economy co-ordinator for the southern waste region Pauline McDonogh highlighted the importance of this campaign.

She stated: "In 2020, organic waste collected in the brown bin accounted for 11% of all household waste managed, totaling 199,823t.

"Although there was a 25% increase compared to the previous year, previous EPA studies have shown that a significant portion of household organic waste (over 60%) continues to be incorrectly placed in residual (black) or recycling bins, rather than being recycled."