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In March 2013, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government introduced the European Union (Household Food Waste and Bio-waste) Regulations 2013. These Regulations are designed to promote the segregation and recovery of household food waste.

Contamination of the brown bin with non-compostable materials such as glass bottles, cans and plastic bags is increasingly becoming an issue for the industry.

A Cré survey of composting plants processing brown bin material found some plants had contamination rates as high as 8, 9 and 14%. It is vital that this type of contamination is kept to a minimum in order for composting facilities to produce quality compost and be able to fulfil the requirements of the National Compost Quality Assurance Scheme.

home-composting1The education of households on how to use the brown bin correctly is key to improving segregation practices. Therefore, the industry and the Government wish to establish the best way to educate households on using the brown bin properly and avoiding contamination. It was considered that best practice in other countries with long-established collection systems could be of assistance in framing a national programme.

The key message to communicate to people is: There has to be no contamination in the brown bin in order to produce high quality compost to use in your garden.



  • Brown bin waste advisors during the implementation phase:  A pilot is recommended to be conducted to determine if the provision of this service is applicable in Ireland.
  • Primary schools:  A programme for primary schools should be developed and be part of curriculum. This would include an educational film on how to use a brown bin, how it is composted and how to use compost.

    Secondary schools: More advanced programme for the transition year:

    • –  conduct food waste audits of school canteen,
    • –  grow food with compost, and
    • –  visit compost site

    Phone hotline: for information, problems and complaints

    Adverts on local radio shows 

    National website: 

    • Contains YouTube clip on how to use brown bin;
    • −  FAQs;
    • −  Link to and
    • −  List of what can go into brown bin.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Cré will produce a set of standard FAQs will be prepared which should be adopted by the waste collectors.

    Teaser leaflet sent to householder before delivery of the brown bin 

    • Introducing the service
    • –  How to use the brown bin

    Local authority letter to households on their obligations.


    Workshop for Local Authorities on the sector /brown bin: Delivered to regional groups of Local Authorities. It would include a site visit to a brown bin composting plant.

    A two-hour workshop for collectors in a region 

    • Introduce the regulations
    • Explain the awareness campaign



    Lets see if this gets rolled out as efficiently as claimed!! 



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