Where does my waste go? Where does my waste go?

Where does my waste go?

To add some context – we talk about our industry as having 3‘boxes’…

  • “Box 1” collect segregated material from homes (and businesses) and dispose of this material in licensed Box 2 sites,
  • “Box 2” sites sort and process material (i.e., breaking the green bin in to its constituent materials, bulk materials for transport, etc.) and send it to Box 3, and
  • “Box 3” end disposal sites are typically the endpoint of the value chain (includes recyclers, cement kilns, waste-to-energy, landfill, etc.)

The City Bin Co. primarily focuses onBox1in the same way that a company like Dublin Waste to Energy (Covanta) are aBox3player.

Breakdown of the amount of household material collected by The City Bin Co.

  • If you look at the material we collect, by weight, 24% is put in the green bin, 29% is in the brown bin and 47% is in the black bin. 
  • So, our household customers have the highest recycling rates in the country (based on IWMA research).  So, thank you… this achievement is a testament to our customers’ dedication towards creating a cleaner and greener future for all.  So, if you are interested in increasing your recycling rates even further, then please check out our resources here. For our part, we’ll keep sending you your recycling data (e.g. your BinDex), sharing best recycling practices and innovating to keep The City Bin Co. at the top of its game.
  • Because we ship to EPA-approved3rd party facilities for processing, the various materials can end up being bulked up and mixed with material from other collectors, making it difficult to determine exactly how much of our waste ends up in, for instance, cement kilns versus energy-generating incinerators. However, we know that very little of the material goes to traditional landfill.
  • The3rd party sites we use send their contaminated green bin predominantly to cement kilns, their contaminated brown bin to waste to energy (i.e.,Covanta). Furthermore, some of the black bin material (organics and metals) is removed and recovered also.

What amount of recyclable material collected by The City Bin Co. is soiled by contaminating items in recycling bins?

  • From discussions with the sorting plants, it’s about 35% (most of which ends up in cement kilns).

What amount of material in general waste bins could be recycled or composted instead of heading for landfill/incinerated? 

  • Again, we do not have exact data on this.  We are providing a three-bin service since 2006 and our data would indicate that our customers are better recyclers than the national picture. 
  • In Ireland, there is over one million tonnes of food waste disposed of each year.  Around 1/3 of this comes from households. Every household in Ireland is responsible for 1 ton of food waste, and over 50% of household food waste ends up in the wrong bin. Food waste should be recovered via the brown bin and converted to compost for reuse. *Source: Govt website.        

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