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  • Find the answer to your recycling questions using our list of FAQs below. Just click on the question to discover the answer.

  • Is it ok to have your personal information on papers and documents when they are being recycled in a recycle centre?
    Click here for the answer
    When the contents of the household recycling bin arrives at a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for sorting the truck empties out everything. All this recycling is then pushed through a mechanical and manual sorting process. Paper gets separated from the other materials and arranged into bales.

    Paper with personal information on it isn't separated out for shredding. Both Repak and the recovery operators recommend shredding or ripping up paper with personal information before placing it in your recycling bin.
  • Can I place plastic bags in my household recycling bin?
    Click here for the answer
    Yes. Please make sure they are clean and dry first.
  • Can I put the metal lids of jam jars and other glass jars into my recycling bin?
    Click here for the answer
    You can indeed place the steel lids from jam and sauce jars in your household recycling bin. Please just make sure they are clean and dry. You can put other steel items in aswell such as food tins, biscuit tins and aerosol cans (just make sure they are empty and the lids are off)
  • I have a virtually new and unused single bed and mattress which nobody wants and nobody wishes to take away. Do you have anybody who would collect and dispose of this?
    Click here for the answer
    There are a few of options available to you.

    You can take the bed to your local recycling centre and they will recycle it for you. You can find a list of recycling facilities here.

    Or you can contact a charity and ask them if they would like it. Some charities will collect it from you, but you will need to ask them.

    There are also sites such as Dublin Waste , FreetreIreland and gumtree.ie where you can advertise the bed for free.

    You can recycle your old mattress here

  • How do I recycle white plastic folders that I have in the office.
    Click here for the answer
    Generally these types of folders are not accepted for recycling in the usual collections systems. This is because they are a mix of cardboard, plastic and steel. Collection systems are set up to accept each material on its own and not mixed with other materials. We suggest you contact your contractor and ask them if they will accept them. You can find a list of contractors here. Also, contact your local recycling facility to see if they will accept them. You can search for your local recycling centre here.
  • Can I recycle polystyrene?
    Click here for the answer
    Polystyrene is fully recyclable and can be recycled at your local recycling centre. To search for your local recycling centre click here.

    Aero board is made from polystyrene, which is a form of plastic. This means that it can by recycled, but needs to be recycled in the correct way. You will be able to bring it to your local recycling centre for recycling. To find your local centre, use our search here.
  • In my supermarket I noticed a sign saying that as members of Repak they did not have to take pack packaging for recycling. Why is this?
    Click here for the answer
    Repak is a producer responsibility scheme that funds packaging recycling. We fund packaging recycling by receiving levies from our members, such as supermarkets. The levy they pay us is based on the amount and type of packaging they place on the market. Members include Tesco, Microsoft and Green Isle Foods.

    Repak then takes this money and pays a subsidy to local authorities and recovery operators to collect, sort and recycle recyclable materials from household recycling bins, bottle banks and recycling centres throughout the Republic of Ireland.

    So by being a member of Repak, supermarkets and other members have already paid towards the recycling of the packaging it places on the market and therefore is not obliged to take it back. This is a feature of membership of Repak. Any member does not have to take back packaging.
  • Can I recycle my glass perfume bottles?
    Click here for the answer
    Yes, you can recycle your glass perfume bottles. Once the glass is clear, green, brown or blue it can go into the usual glass bottle bank. You can leave the spray pump and lid on as these will get crushed and sorted out in the recycling process.

    Any blue bottles can go into the green glass bank.

    Frosted bottles are ok to be recycled aswell.

    Any other colours such as pink, red etc can't go into the usual glass bottle bank and will need to go into the general refuse bin.


  • Is it ok to have your personal information on papers and documents when they are being recycled in a recycle centre?
    Click here for the answer
    When the contents of the household recycling bin arrives at a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for sorting the truck empties out everything. All this recycling is then pushed through a mechanical and manual sorting process. Paper gets separated from the other materials and arranged into bales.

    Paper with personal information on it isn't separated out for shredding. Both Repak and the recovery operators recommend shredding or ripping up paper with personal information before placing it in your recycling bin.
  • Can I place plastic bags in my household recycling bin?
    Click here for the answer
    Yes. Please make sure they are clean and dry first.
  • In my supermarket I noticed a sign saying that as members of Repak they did not have to take back packaging for recycling. Why is this?
    Click here for the answer
    Repak is a producer responsibility scheme that funds packaging recycling. We fund packaging recycling by receiving levies from our members, such as supermarkets. The levy they pay us is based on the amount and type of packaging they place on the market. Members include Tesco, Microsoft and Green Isle Foods.

    Repak then takes this money and pays a subsidy to local authorities and recovery operators to collect, sort and recycle recyclable materials from household recycling bins, bottle banks and recycling centres throughout the Republic of Ireland.

    So by being a member of Repak, supermarkets and other members have already paid towards the recycling of the packaging it places on the market and therefore is not obliged to take it back. This is a feature of membership of Repak. Any member does not have to take back packaging.
  • Do all recycling centres charge a fee?
    Click here for the answer
    Some recycling centres charge a fee and it depends on the centre. Some will charge a general entrance fee and some charge by the type of material. You will need to check with the centre you are going to as it does vary. You can search for your local recycling centres here
  • Can I recycle beer bottle tops?
    Click here for the answer
    Yes.
  • Where can I recycle paint tins?
    Click here for the answer
    These can be recycled at your local recycling centre. There are also charities that accept old paint; they use these to decorate the houses of people who can't afford to themselves. For you nearest recycling centre click here
  • I have a virtually new and unused single bed and mattress which nobody wants and nobody wishes to take away. Do you have anybody who would collect and dispose of this?
    Click here for the answer
    There are a few of options available to you.

    You can take the bed to your local recycling centre and they will recycle it for you. You can find a list of recycling facilities here.

    Or you can contact a charity and ask them if they would like it. Some charities will collect it from you, but you will need to ask them.

    There are also sites such as Dublin Waste and gumtree.ie where you can advertise the bed for free.

  • Where can I recycle an old suite of furniture
    Click here for the answer
    These can be recycled at your local recycling centre. Depending on the quality of the old furniture you may be able to bring it to a charity shop. Some charity shops will also collect the furniture, but you will need to check with them. For your nearest recycling centre click here
  • Can I recycle polystyrene?
    Click here for the answer
    Polystyrene is fully recyclable and can be recycled at your local recycling centre. To search for your local recycling centre click here. A quick search here for 'white polystyrene' returned 36 results throughout the country, so hopefully there is a centre near you that you can take it to.

    Aero board is made from polystyrene, which is a form of plastic. This means that it can by recycled, but needs to be recycled in the correct way. You will be able to bring it to your local recycling centre for recycling. To find your local centre, sue our search here.
  • Can I put the metal lids of jam jars and other glass jars into my recycling bin?
    Click here for the answer
    You can indeed place the steel lids from jam and sauce jars in your household recycling bin. Please just make sure they are clean and dry. You can put other steel items in aswell such as food tins, biscuit tins and aerosol cans (just make sure they are empty and the lids are off)
  • Can I recycle plastic roll-on deodorant containers when they are empty?
    Click here for the answer
    Unfortunately there is no straight answer on this question. You will need to check with the company that collects your household recycling bin. Usually if there is a triangle at the bottom of the bottle with the number 1 or 2 inside it you can put it in your recycling bin. It may have the number 4 or 5 in the triangle, which means you'll have to check with your contractor. There is a list of contractors here.
  • How do I recycle white plastic folders that I have in the office?
    Click here for the answer
    Generally these types of folders are not accepted for recycling in the usual collections systems. This is because they are a mix of cardboard, plastic and steel. Collection systems are set up to accept each material on its own and not mixed with other materials. We suggest you contact your contractor and ask them if they will accept them. You can find a list of contractors here. Also, contact your local recycling facility to see if they will accept them. You can search for your local recycling centre here.
  • Can old shoes go into clothing recycling banks once they are clean?
    Click here for the answer
    Yes


  • Where can I recycle ordinary light bulbs?
    Click here for the answer
    To find a list of recycling centres near you and the materials they accept, please go to the recycling facility search page on our website here
  • Can I recycle aerosol cans?
    Click here for the answer
    Aerosol cans can go into your household recycling bin, once they are empty and the lids are off. Do not pierce the cans or damage them in any way.
  • Can I recycle electrical items?
    Click here for the answer
    Electrical items will be accepted at recycling centres and depending on what they are, may be accepted back to the shop you bought them in as part of the WEEE scheme.

    You will need to check with your local recycling centre to see if they will accept the other items. For your nearest recycling centre click here
  • Can I recycle broken delph
    Click here for the answer
    To find a list of recycling centres near you and the materials they accept, please go to the recycling facility search page on our website here
  • How can coat hangers be disposed of?
    Click here for the answer
    Any plastic hangers will be accepted as part of the mixed plastic recycling at your recycling centre.

    Wire hangers are steel and should be accepted in the steel recycling in the recycling centre. To find your nearest recycling centre click here

    If they are in good condition, your local dry cleaner may take them back for reuse.
  • Is it possible to recycle video and audio cassette tapes?
    Click here for the answer
    Video and cassette tapes may be accepted at your local recycling centre, but you will have to ask when you get there. If they are not accepted a charity shop or online swap site may take them. For your nearest recycling centre click here
  • Is it possible to recycle CD’s and DVD’s?
    Click here for the answer
    CD's and DVD's are accepted for recycling in most recycling centres. To find your nearest one click here
    The plastic covers are made from a harder and different type of plastic so these will need to be brought to the recycling centre also and would not be accepted into the household recycling bin.
  • Is it possible to recycle window envelopes?
    Click here for the answer
    Window envelopes are fully recyclable and can be placed in your household recycling bin along with other paper.
  • Is it possible to recycle a mini disc player?
    Click here for the answer
    Electrical items will be accepted at recycling centres and depending on what they are, may be accepted back to the shop you bought them in as part of the WEEE scheme.

    You will need to check with your local recycling centre to see if they will accept the other items. For your nearest recycling centre click here
  • Can I recycle plastic bottles?
    Click here for the answer
    You can put your plastic bottles into your recycle bin. Any plastic bottle marked with a 1 or 2 in a triangle can go into your recycle bin. For more on recycling symbols go here

    Your contractor should be able to fully answer this question for you, but these two types are accepted. For a list of contractors click here. Plastic bottles that can be recycled in your household recycling bin are: shampoo, shower gel, window cleaner, washing up liquid, washing detergent, fabric softener and yogurt drinks bottles.
  • Can plastic plant pots be recycled?
    Click here for the answer
    Generally no. Most of these pots are plastic type 5 and are made of Polystyrene (similar to aeroboard) and are not generally collected for recycling. This is mainly because the volumes of plastic being collected for recycling are low relative to other materials and as such other plastics are targeted for collection. However some contractors or recycling centres that collect mixed plastic may take these and recover, rather than recycle, them. This can be done in one or two ways. Firstly it can be used as part of mixed plastics for plaswood (used to make park furniture) and secondly to make RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) for use as an alternative fuel source in energy intensive processes such as cement kilns. For your nearest recycling centre click here
  • How would I go about recycling a small number of old computers from my school?
    Click here for the answer
    The best way to do this is to bring them to your local civic amenity centre. To find your closest site use our search here
  • What items should never be put into a recycling bin?
    Click here for the answer
    There are many items that should never go in the recycle bin; such as clothes, batteries and used tissues. For more go to our hints & tips page here
  • Can plastic bags and plastic wrappings from items such as bread and also toys be recycled?
    Click here for the answer
    Plastic bags and the plastic wrap from toys can be recycled. The plastic from bread depends on your contractor. It is best to double check that with them. For a list of contractors click here.
  • Are cigarette butts recyclable?
    Click here for the answer
    Unfortunately filtered cigarettes go into the black bin. They can't be recycled or composted because the filter is not organic material. For more tips click here
  • Where should old textiles such as clothes, towels and old sheets be disposed of?
    Click here for the answer
    Clothes and textiles can be recycled at your local civic amenity or recycling centre. Look for the banks marked for clothes. Also, depending on the quality of the items, a charity shop may accept them. To find your closest site use our search here
  • How can I dispose of the waste from hamster cages such as sawdust, shredded paper, uneaten food and droppings?
    Click here for the answer
    This kind of waste cannot go into the usual household recycling bin with paper, plastic, aluminium and cardboard. There are a number of options which may or may not be available to you.

    If you have a brown bin, you can place this waste in there.

    If you have a home composter in your back garden you can add it to this.

    And thirdly your local recycling centre may accept it for recycling. As the materials accepted at recycling centres can differ you will need to contact your local one and ask them directly. You can search for recycling centres here.
  • How do I recycle old make-up containers?
    Click here for the answer
    Firstly the containers would need to be empty. This can be done with lipsticks, blusher, eye shadows and foundation in plastic bottles.

    Make-up in plastic bottles can go into the household recycling bin, once they're clean. It can be awkward to clean plastic bottles that you can't unscrew the top off. To do this fill the sink with a little water, while squeezing the bottle hold it under the water, then release it and water will be sucked in. Give it a shake to clean it, then squeeze the water out. You can do this as many times as you need.

    The harder containers from lipsticks and blushers may be accepted for recycling as part of a plastic mix at your local recycling centre and be recovered for RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) rather than be recycled. To find your local recycling centre click here. You will need to ask them if they will accept them. If they don't they go into the general refuse bin.
  • Is it possible to recycle CFL light bulbs i.e. long life bulbs?
    Click here for the answer
    CFL bulbs can't go into the normal household recycling bin. Some local authorities accept these for recycling at their recycling centres. The best thing to do is to contact your recycling centre and ask them if they will accept them for recycling. You can search for your local recycling centre here and also search by material to see what centres take fluorescent tubes. 88 of the centres in the search accept fluorescent tubes.
  • How can I tell which plastics are recyclable?
    Click here for the answer
    Any plastic packaging marked with the symbol or usually on the bottom of the pack, can be accepted into your recycling bin. You can also check with your local service provider or local authority for the full list of materials they accept for recycling. Many contractors will accept more types than the two highlighted above.
  • How clean do containers need to be before I put them into my recycling bin?
    Click here for the answer
    A good rinse will do. The recycling materials just need to be clean, free from any food residues and dry before going into your recycling bin.
  • Do I need to take the labels off jars and cans?
    Click here for the answer
    The labels on glass will be burned off during the recycling process, so there’s no need to remove them. The paper on aluminium and steel food cans, like beans tins, is fully recyclable like the can. It’s not absolutely necessary to remove the labels because they will be recycled separately anyway. If you can remove the labels, recycle them with your paper and cardboard. Just make sure they’re clean and dry.
  • Can caps and lids be recycled?
    Click here for the answer
    Yes. When recycling bottle caps; wash the bottled first, then squash it, then replace the lid to keep the bottle squashed.
  • Should I step on plastic bottles and crush cans?
    Click here for the answer
    Your contractor won’t mind if bottles and cans are crushed or not. But squashing these materials will give you more space in your recycling bin. So if you can, squash it!
  • Can plastic bags be recycled with plastic containers?
    Click here for the answer
    This can vary depending on your local contractor. Check with them first before placing plastic bags in your recycle bin. Plastic bags are usually made of LDPE plastic and marked with the symbol
  • Can aluminium foil be recycled with cans?
    Click here for the answer
    Yes. But it must be clean and dry.
  • If something is made from recycled paper or plastic, can it be recycled again?
    Click here for the answer
    While it’s true that recycling paper and plastic over and over will degrade the quality, that doesn’t mean you can’t recycle it. Many recycled products contain a percentage of both virgin and post-consumer recycled content, and it would be quite difficult for you to know whether it’s recycle worthy.
  • glass, paper and cans are recycled, they become similar products that can be used and recycled over and over again.
    Click here for the answer
    With plastics recycling, however, there is usually only a single re-use. Most bottles and jugs don't become food and beverage containers again. For example, beverage bottles might become carpet or stuffing for sleeping bags.
    In the case of paper, the quality of the recycled paper fibres is assessed at the mill. The higher-quality fibers are used to create more recycled paper while the shorter, lower-quality fibers are turned into things like toilet paper, paper towels and cereal boxes.
  • How do I find out what to do with hard-to-recycle items?
    Click here for the answer
    Visit our recycling Go to the recycling facilities search and search for more recycling points in your local area to get a list of the materials which the various recycling companies accept.
  • What does the Green Dot represent?
    Click here for the answer
    The Green Dot is a European-wide symbol that appears on the packaging of products you buy. It means that the supplier of that packaging is committed to protecting the environment by funding the recovery and recycling of packaging waste. The supplier has paid for the recycling of that packaging through your household recycling bin, bottle banks and civic amenity centres. It does not necessarily mean that the packaging can be recycled.
  • What is the Mobius Loop and what does it represent?
    Click here for the answer
    This recycling symbol indicates that the products packaging can be recycled. It does not automatically mean it is accepted in all recycling collection systems. Sometimes this is used with a x% figure in the middle which is used to denote that the packaging contains x% of recyclable material.
  • I have seen new recycling symbols on products from the UK. Do they apply to Ireland aswell?
    Click here for the answer
  • Can I recycle yogurt pots?
    Click here for the answer
    This depends on what type of plastic the pot is made of. Check the bottom of the pack. If it has this symbol it can go into your recycle bin. If it has this symbol you will need to check with your contractor. All contractors accept HDPE, but not all accept PP.
    Yogurt pots are made from plastic type 5, so if there is no symbol, check with your contractors. Yogurt drinks are made from plastic type 2, so again if there is no symbol you can put it into your recycle bin.
  • Can I recycle my detergent and shampoo bottles?
    Click here for the answer
    Generally all plastic bottles can be recycled not just beverage and milk bottles. Other recyclable bottles include shampoo, shower gel bottles, cleanser bottles, detergent bottles, fabric softener bottles. Any bottle with a lid is generally accepted into plastic bottles collection and household recycling collections.
  • Can I recycle plastic food trays?
    Click here for the answer
    Yes. These are mostly made from plastic type 1 and have the following symbom . Just make sure they are clean and dry before placing them in your recycle bin.
  • Can I recycle plastic wrapping?
    Click here for the answer
    If your contractor states that they accept plastic type 4 or if they accept all types of plastic then you can place plastic wrapping and cling film into your recycle bin, only if it is clean and dry.
  • Can I recycle aluminium trays?
    Click here for the answer
    Yes. Just ensure they are fully washed out and dry before popping them in your recycling bin.
  • How do I know all of my mixed recyclables are being recycle and not just going to landfill?
    Click here for the answer
    Recyclables have a market value so it would not make commercial sense to collect and segregate materials and then pay to have them landfilled, when they can be sold. As part of the waste licence recycling companies are granted, they are regularly inspected and operations reviewed to ensure they comply with waste procedures. No contractor would be issued with a licence or get a licence renewed If found in breach of the regulations and illegally dumping recyclables.
  • How do I know that materials sent abroad for recycling are actually recycled?
    Click here for the answer
    As part of a contractors licence and EU Regulations, all waste shipments (recyclables and waste) sent aboard from EU countries must be monitored and reported to the National Transfrontier Shipment Office (NTFS) in each of the respective countries. All waste and recycling shipments are pre-notified to the Irish NTFS and the details of the shipment such as, the nature of the material, the sender, the final end recycler and shipping details are notified to the office. Shipments are made in sealed containers which are pre-photographed when loading before being sealed. The NTFS office randomly inspects containers for compliance with documentation. Breaches of the regulations are treated very seriously and can result in fines and potentially the loss of operating licences.
    For all packaging recycling that Repak funds we have our own additional procedures to audit and check that materials have been recycled. We only pay subsidies to contractors upon final proof of delivery of recyclables to a end recycler. We will and do inspect contractors and follow the documentary trail of delivery dockets and invoices. In addition the EPA will do its own inspections.
  • Do we not export all our recyclables to China and Asia and should we not recycle these items in Ireland?
    Click here for the answer
    Ireland exports less than 15% of recyclables directly to China and Asia. Mainland Europe and indeed the UK are the main destinations for our recyclables.
    The recyclables Ireland produces are low grade and are used in primary manufacturing. Ireland is no longer a primary manufacturing country. As a result the majority of recycling will always be done oversea. However there are and will be opportunities for small fringe recyclers.
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