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Mountains of waste despite council push for recycling

MORE of Dublin's waste than expected was dumped in landfill in 2009 -- despite the council's high hopes for greatly improved recycling in the city.

The roll-out of brown bins to Dublin city's residents meant that 13pc less waste went to landfill last year, but Dublin City Council had anticipated that the amount of waste going to landfill would be reduced by as much as 33pc.

Even at a time when city householders are keen to lower their utility bills, the take-up of the new bin service has been low.

The brown bin service ensures that organic waste is collected for composting, which benefits the environment as this form of waste is the main cause of gas and liquid emissions from landfill sites.

Black or grey waste is non-recyclable and bound for a landfill.


Meanwhile, Fingal County Council (FCC) says its black bin waste decreased by around one third with the roll-out of the reduced brown bin service.

FCC first introduced brown bins on a pilot basis to 17,000 households in November 2005, and started to roll out the service to all households from 2008.

And almost all households in Fingal now have a fortnightly brown bin collection

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said it will be working to improve on the 13pc reduction over the next year.

"More work needs to be done, but it's encouraging because in 1996 almost all waste in Dublin was put to landfill.

"It's a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done."

Dublin City Council aims to significantly reduce the costs of their waste service, since landfill costs are significantly higher than those for composting.

The bins also cost customers far less, since a charge of €2 is levied for a brown bin collection set against €3.80 for a similar-sized black bin.

All householders were given brown bins by 2009, three years after the scheme was piloted in 8,000 houses in 2006.

Both Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and South Dublin County Councils plan to introduce the brown bin service this year, since the brown bin collection service is part of the Dublin Region Waste Plan, which has the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill as one of its key requirements.

A spokesperson from South Dublin County Council said it intends to have the new bins rolled out by autumn.

Dublin City Council has now started checking brown bins for contamination through the presence of items such as glass and plastics, and it says bins that contain contaminants will not be emptied.