Cork City the best in food waste disposal

Householders in Cork City are the best for segregating food waste. New figures show people living in the local authority area covered by Cork City Council have the highest rate of three-bin collections in the country.

A total of 83% of households in the city avail of a brown bin collection service — which is used for the disposal of food waste.

Fingal, Galway City, Leitrim, and Limerick City and County, South Dublin and Waterford City and County were the only other council areas to achieve a brown bin collection rate of over 50% of households. At the other end of the scale 0.23% of homes in Donegal — 131 homes — have a brown bin collection.

Outside of the eight urban authorities, Leitrim has the highest level of take-up of the food waste collection service at more than 66% of households in the county.

The figures are contained in a report by the National Oversight and Audit Commission — a state body established in 2014 as a local authority watchdog.

However, the involvement of local authorities in waste collection is now limited to a regulatory role.

NOAC figures show the total number of households with a three-bin services increased by 10% last year to 575,078. Approximately a third of households nationwide now segregate their food waste.

Under the EU (Household Food Waste and Bio-waste) Regulations 2015, household waste collectors are required to provide a separate collection service for food waste from households in designated “brown bin” areas.

Since last July that applies to all towns and villages with populations of over 500.

Simon Coveney, the minister for housing, planning, community and local government, said it was intended that, notwithstanding the regulations, measures would be taken to ensure a brown bin service is available to all householders wishing one, regardless of the size of their community, where it is technically and environmentally practical to do so.

NOAC said the main reason for the low percentages of households using three bins in urban areas was due to the prevalence of apartments. “Most apartment complexes are not participating in brown bin collections because the occupants are not adequately segregating the food waste and black bin contamination is occurring anyway, so the collectors have given up on providing a brown bin service,” said a NOAC spokesperson.


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