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Now bin bags allowed for your brown bin

SOUTH Dublin householders won't have to wrap their food waste in paper before disposing of it any more.

Panda, the company operating the waste collection service on behalf of Dun Laoghaire/ Rathdown Co Council, said it will accept biodegradable bin bags from now on.

The issue was raised by a resident who complained it was "unhygienic" to leave food wrapped in newspaper.

But Panda manager John Dunne told the Herald the company will now begin accepting biodegradable bags in the brown bin collection.

He said the problem is there is no standard compostable bin liner. The "range of biodegradation" goes from six to 12 weeks but some waste processing centres are only equipped to accept one type of bag.

Mr Dunne said the company had been intending to delay accepting the bags until it had produced its own product.

But Panda has now decided to allow customers to use all types of biodegradable bin bags.

Mr Dunne said the company was asked to roll out brown bins for food waste but 26pc of customers in the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown area have refused to accept them.

Among the reasons cited is a lack of room or simply that they don't want another bin.

Nevertheless, it is against the local authority by-laws to place organic rubbish in the black bin, Mr Dunne pointed out.

Panda will now take the financial "hit" by allowing the use of all compostable bags until the New Year, when it expects to have its own product.

In a letter to a newspaper, a resident in South Dublin complained: "The idea of wrapping kitchen food waste in newspaper and storing it in a brown bin for two weeks at a time is clearly unhygienic and unworkable. I have instructed Panda to take our brown bin back."

Mr Dunne said the company changed its policy in response to the letter.

"We are going to get hit (financially) by the fact that people will be using ordinary plastic bags rather than biodegradable ones and they will be using biodegradable bags, some of which will not be suitable for the processing (stage)," he told the Herald.

"It will cost more to process," Mr Dunne added.