Recycling household waste


You can lower your waste collection charges and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill sites by recycling and composting your waste. Many of the items you use at home can be recycled and there are a range of services and facilities where you can recycle your household waste.

Where can I recycle my waste?

There are different ways to recycle waste. You can take waste that can be recycled to a recycling facility, use your recycling bin or use a kerbside collection (when available).

For organic waste, you can use your brown bin or compost it yourself. Many recycling facilities also accept bulky organic waste such as garden waste.

There are 4 types of permanent recycling facility:

  • Bring banks
  • Civic amenity sites
  • Recycling centres
  • Deposit Return Scheme for bottle and can recycling

Bring banks

Bring banks are unstaffed collection points for recyclable materials like:

  • Glass bottles
  • Drinks cans
  • Food cans

Some bring banks also have collection bins for unwanted clothes.

You can use mywaste’s service location to find your nearest bring bank.

Civic amenity sites

Civic amenity sites can accept a larger variety of items than bring banks. The sites are purpose-built and have staff and specific opening hours. In general, they accept:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic and glass bottles
  • Drinks cans and food tins
  • Textiles and footwear
  • Electrical equipment
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Waste oil
  • DIY waste

Some civic amenity sites also accept garden waste and Christmas trees.

You can also get recycling advice and information from the staff at civic amenity sites and they may sell home composting bins.

You can use mywaste’s service location to find your nearest civic amenity site.

Recycling centres

Recycling centres are also staffed and have specific opening hours but accept a smaller variety of items than civic amenity sites. In general, they do not accept very bulky items. They are not custom-built and tend to be located on existing sites such as local authority depots.

You can get recycling advice and information from staff at your local recycling centre and they may also sell home composting bins.

Find your nearest recycling centre, it’s opening hours, contact details on this map.

Deposit Return Scheme for bottle and can recycling

The Deposit Return Scheme started on 1 February 2024 and changed how certain drinks containers are recycled.

The cost of the deposit is automatically added to the cost of the drink. You can get the deposit back by returning your containers once they are empty and undamaged.

See our page on the Deposit Return Scheme for more information.

Where to recycle your Christmas tree

Most local authorities also set up temporary collection points for Christmas trees each year.

And some civic amenity sites may also accept Christmas trees.

You can find out what recycling services are available in your area from Repak, on or from your local authority.

Recycling at home

Green bin collection

Kerbside bin collection of recyclable waste is often known as a ‘green bin’ collection. In certain areas, your waste company may use waste bags and tags or communal bins. Check the table below for what items can be recycled in the green bin.

Find which recycling services collect bins in your area.

Brown bin collection

Your waste collector must offer you a brown bin collection service for food and organic waste. This applies unless you live on an offshore island. Read more about brown bin collection.

You can also recycle your food waste yourself at home by composting it. Compost is rich in plant nutrients, and you can dig it into soil to improve your garden. Most garden and kitchen waste can be composted – see our page on composting for more information.

What can I put in my green recycling bin?

All items for recycling should be clean, dry and placed loosely in the recycling bin.

You can put the following materials in your green recycling bin:



Paper and cardboard




Cardboard boxes (flattened)

Egg boxes

Potato bags

Cardboard centres from toilet roll and kitchen roll


'Tetra Pak' cartons for juice or milk

Pizza boxes (if part of the box is soiled, separate this and put it in your brown bin)

Rigid plastic (washed and dried)

Plastic drink bottles

Plastic cleaning bottles

Butter, yoghurt and salad tubs

Plastic trays for fruit and vegetables

Plastic milk containers

Plastic bottles for liquid soap or shampoo

Soft plastic (washed and dried)

Frozen food bags

Bread wrappers

Plastic shopping bags

Bubble wrap

Crisp wrappers

Pasta bags

Outer wrapping on kitchen and toilet rolls

Breakfast cereal bags

Tins and cans (washed and dried)

Soup cans

Pet food cans

Certain drink cans

Food cans

Paper coffee cups

Paper coffee cups are sometimes made of compostable material. If your paper cup is certified as compostable, it will say this on the cup and should be placed in your brown bin at home. Otherwise, it should be put in the general waste bin. You should check the lid and the sleeve of the coffee cup to see if these can be recycled.

For more details on what can and cannot go in your recycling bins, see

What can I bring to a recycling facility?

You can bring many items to recycling facilities. But it is important to check with your local centre, as what they accept can vary from centre to centre.

Most recycling centres accept:

  • Glass bottles and jars – You can recycle the lids and caps separately in your recycling bin at home.
  • Paper (newspapers, magazines, office paper, junk mail, comics and light cardboard)
  • Drinks cartons, for example, milk or juice cartons
  • Aluminium, for example, soft drink and beer cans or foil
  • Plastic bottles and cartons
  • Food tins, for example tins for fruit, vegetables or pet food
  • Plastic bottle tops, metal and aluminium lids
  • Textiles, for example, clean clothes, bed linen, towels, coats and jackets
  • White goods, for example, washing machines, cookers, dryers, dishwashers, fridges
  • Batteries. You can also recycle these for free in certain shops and supermarkets as part of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) scheme.

All materials should be clean, to avoid contamination. You should always wash out bottles, cans and yogurt pots before recycling.

What will not be accepted for recycling?

  • Crystal glass, Pyrex, television tubes, car windscreens and opal glass. Opal glass is
    alcohol bottles where a large amount of foil is glued to the bottle.
  • Porcelain, pottery, stones and ceramic tiles
  • Carpets and rugs, cushions or mattresses
  • Laminated or waxed papers like paper cups

Recycling hazardous waste

Many household products contain substances that are potentially harmful to the environment. They include:

  • Medicines
  • Aerosols
  • Bulbs and fluorescent tubes
  • Polishes
  • Adhesives
  • Household cleaners
  • Drain cleaners
  • Solvents
  • Weedkillers
  • Fertilisers

Some of these items can be brought to a civic amenity centre, where they can be recycled or disposed of.

Your local pharmacy can dispose of certain items safely and properly for you, including:

  • Pharmaceutical drugs (such as painkillers)
  • Medical waste (such as surgical gloves)
  • Containers for pharmaceutical drugs

If you are disposing syringes, you should get a sharps waste container from your local GP or hospital. The HSE have advise on how and where to get these (pdf).

Some local authorities organise mobile collections, where hazardous waste can be left at a central point. Contact your local authority for more information.

Recycling vapes and e-cigarettes

Most vapes and e-cigarettes have batteries so they should not be put in your bin at home. Instead, you should bring them to a Blue Battery Box to be recycled. You can find Blue Battery Boxes in:

  • Local recycling centres
  • Newsagents
  • Supermarkets
  • Schools
  • Workplaces

You may also be able to return your vape or e-cigarette to the store where you bought it.

This recycling service is free and is provided by Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Ireland.

Disposable vapes do not need to be taken apart to be recycled. However, to recycle rechargeable vapes or e-cigarettes, you need remove the tank where the liquid is stored before you recycle it.

WEEE has more information about how to recycle vapes and e-cigarettes.

How much do recycling services cost?

Recycling services provided to the public are mainly free of charge. However, you may be charged to recycle certain items at civic amenity centres or recycling centres. You can check the charges with your local centre.

If you are recycling at home you may have to pay a fee for recycling bin collection. You can check the charges with your bin collection company.

More information on recycling in Ireland

Read more about Reducing waste, Household waste disposal, Burning household waste, Landfill sites, Littering and dumping and How to dispose of an end-of-life vehicle.

Check how and where to recycle Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) .

Visit for information on recycling symbols which will help you to identify how items can be re-used and/or disposed of safely.

Page edited: 10 April 2024