Skip to main content

Environment, Climate Change & Agriculture

Food Waste, Composting & Brown Bin

How To Cut Down On Food Waste

The environmental costs of food waste for Ireland are huge. But, when you think about the whole food cycle globally, they become massive.

In Ireland we are generating at least 1 million tonnes of food waste each year. While some is anaerobically digested to make biogas, composted or rendered for animal food much of it still ends up in landfills or incinerated. But this is only part of the problem, there is a whole load of environmental impacts long before we the consumers dispose of our food waste.

The EPA’s Stop Food Waste Programme is an awareness progamme  that encourages a reduction in food waste at household and business level. See:

To arrange a ‘Stop Food Waste’ workshop in your community contact Mayo County Council’s Environment Awareness Officer. Email:

Food Waste Collection For Householders – Brown Bin

Where a Kerb-side collection for food waste is available, householders are not permitted to dispose of food waste in their landfill bin.

Waste collectors are required to provide a separate collection service for household food waste in population centres of over 500 persons.

Contact your waste collector for details of their brown bin service in your area.

Food Waste Regulations For Businesses

There are specific responsibilities on major generators of food waste, such as state buildings where food is prepared, restaurants and caf├ęs, hot food outlets, forecourt vendors, canteens, hotels and guesthouses, hospitals, universities, airports and supermarkets and other food retailers. These businesses must segregate food waste from other waste streams and make it available for separate collection. Businesses may also directly transfer their own food waste to an authorized treatment facility or treat the material on their own premises subject to approval. Organisers of some trade shows must comply with the Regulations and must prepare a Food Waste Management Plan.

For full details of the responsibility businesses have in relation to food waste see:

Home Composting Scheme

Home composting is a great way dealing with food waste, in particular, garden waste, fruit and vegetable waste and peelings. There are  lots of different systems available to help you compost your waste at home. You can learn all about home composting by visiting:

Composting workshops can be arranged in your community by contacting Mayo County Council’s Environment Awareness Officer by emailing:

Grass Waste

Grass clippings can be composted but you must mix in an equal amount of dry, carbon rich materials such as brown leaves, woody materials or shredded paper to make successful compost.

It is a good idea to compost grass in a separate pile to your compost bin.

Even better why not try ‘Grasscycling’  - a simple way of dealing with grass waste:

See the information visit:

Back to top