Brown bins for food waste coming to Letterkenny

Donegal County Council.

Donegal County Council.

Brown bins for disposal of household food waste will be introduced to the Letterkenny area as of July 1st, and will come to smaller urban areas in coming years.

The new Household Food and Bio-Waste Regulations that come into effect for Letterkenny from July 1st require all householders in the area to separate food waste and make it available for conversion into compost.

Typically, this requires householders to place cooked and uncooked food waste into a brown bin that will be provided by the householder’s waste collector.

While these regulations apply to Letterkenny in 2014, the service will also become available to people in smaller urban centres over the next two years.

“The purpose of the regulation is to divert food waste, which is biodegradable, away from landfill to facilities which are authorised to treat it and turn it into a high-quality compost,” according to Suzanne Bogan, waste awareness officer with Donegal County Council.

For the householder, this means that they must separate their food waste and ensure that it is not placed in the “black bin” or disposal bin. A brown bin for food waste will be offered to all householders in Letterkenny by their local waste collectors over the next two months.

If for any reason a householder is not contacted about receiving a brown bin, it is important that these individuals contact their waste collector themselves to find out what arrangements are in place for their area.

Households can continue to home compost fruit and vegetable peelings in the garden, but this method will not be suitable for food waste such as dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, bones, leftover plate scrapings, etc.

Food waste that can be placed into the brown bins will include meat, poultry, and fish, including bones; leftover food from plates and dishes; fruit and vegetables; tea bags, coffee grinds and paper filters; bread, cakes and biscuits; rice, pasta and cereals; dairy products, cheese, butter and yogurts; soups and sauces; eggs, egg shells, and cardboard egg boxes; food-soiled napkins, paper towels; newspaper, when used for wrapping food waste; out-of-date food with packaging removed, but no glass or plastic.

Dearn McClintock, waste regulations officer with Donegal County Council, said under these regulations, people who place their food waste in the residual “black bin” or use a macerator or other shredding device to dispose of food waste, will be deemed to be in non-compliance with the legislation. That may result in court proceedings, which could lead to a maximum fine of €4,000 upon conviction.

“Donegal County Council is the enforcement body for this legislation and will be active in making sure that householders in the designated areas comply with the legislation,” he said.

Anyone with queries on the service should contact their own waste collector or Donegal County Council’s Environment Section on 074 91 53900. More information can also be found at or


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