FAQs and Top Tips
I saw a green dot symbol on packaging in my local supermarket – what does this symbol mean?
The Green Dot is a European trademark that producers and suppliers include on their packaging advising consumers that they have contributed financially to the recycling of the products packaging. In Ireland, it means they are members of Repak. It does not mean that all packaging supplied is recyclable.
Is it okay to have your personal information on personal papers and documents when they are being recycled in a recycle centre?
When the contents of the household recycling bin arrives at a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for sorting the truck empties out everything. All this recycling is then pushed through a mechanical and manual sorting process. Paper gets separated from the other materials and arranged into bales.
Paper with personal information on it isn’t separated out for shredding. Both Repak and the recovery operators recommend shredding or ripping up paper with personal information before placing it in your recycling bin.
Can I place plastic bags in my household recycling bin?
No. Plastic bags should not be placed in the recycling bin.
Can I put the metal lids of jam jars and other glass jars into my recycling bin?
You can indeed place the steel lids from jam and other glass jars in your household recycling bin. Please just make sure they are clean and dry. You can put other steel items in as well such as food tins, biscuit tins and empty aerosol* cans (just make sure they are empty and the lids are off)
*Please check that this material is accepted by your own individual waste contractor before placing into your Recyclables bin.
I have a virtually new and unused bed and mattress that nobody wants and nobody wishes to take away. Is there anyone who can collect it, or anywhere I can dispose of it?
There are a few of options available to you.
Or you can contact a charity and ask them if they would like it. Some charities will collect it from you, but you will need to ask them.
How do I recycle white plastic folders that I have in the office?
Generally these types of folders are not accepted for recycling in the usual collections systems. This is because they are a mix of cardboard, plastic and steel. Collection systems are set up to accept each material on its own and not mixed with other materials. We suggest you contact your contractor and ask them if they will accept them. You can find a list of contractors here. Also, contact your local recycling facility to see if they will accept them. You can search for your local recycling centre on repak.ie.
In my supermarket I saw a sign saying that as members of Repak, the store did not have to take back packaging for recycling – why is this?
Repak is a producer responsibility scheme that funds packaging recycling. We fund packaging recycling by receiving fees from our members, such as supermarkets. The membership fees they pay us is based on the amount and type of packaging they place on the market. Members include Tesco, Microsoft and Green Isle Foods.
Repak then takes this money and pays a subsidy to local authorities and recovery operators to collect, sort and recycle recyclable materials from household recycling bins, bottle banks and recycling centres throughout the Republic of Ireland.
So by being a member of Repak, supermarkets and other members have already paid towards the recycling of the packaging it places on the market and therefore is not obliged to take it back. This is a feature of membership of Repak. Any member does not have to take back packaging.
Can I recycle my glass perfume bottles?
Yes, you can recycle your glass perfume bottles. Once the glass is clear, green, brown or blue it can go into the usual glass bottle bank. You can leave the spray pump and lid on as these will get crushed and sorted out in the recycling process.
Any blue bottles can go into the green glass bank.
Frosted bottles are ok to be recycled aswell.
Any other colours such as pink, red etc can’t go into the usual glass bottle bank and will need to go into the general refuse bin.
Promoting Better Recycling – 10 Tips
Repak wants to encourage people to “recycle better” by promoting good recycling behaviour. When you make the effort to recycle, please make sure you:
- Know what can go into your Mixed Dry Recyclables bin – reference list here
- Recycle more items from the bathroom, kitchen and other areas of the house – did you know that all of your shower gel, shampoo and detergent / cleaning agent bottles can be easily recycled? – Go on see what else you can find!
- Rinse any food or liquid residues from containers and remove any plastic / metal inserts from boxes being placed into your recycling bin
- Remove inner packaging and flatten cardboard containers to help with the recycling process and to save space in your bin. Removing some air from plastic bottles will also save space in your bin
- Do not place mixed recyclables compacted into boxes or bags into your recycling bin – instead empty the contents of the bags / boxes into the bin so that the recyclables are loose and easily separated into different material types – you can then reuse the box or bag to store your next batch of recyclables
- Do not put food waste or other compostable materials (such as garden waste, tissue paper and soiled pizza boxes) into your recyclables bin, these materials should be placed into your compost bin.
- WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment – anything with a battery or a plug) can contain hazardous components and should not be placed into any household or business premise bin. WEEE material can be swapped like for like at any electrical supplies store when you are getting a new appliance or can be taken to your local recycling centre from where it will be sent for recycling.
- Clothes or shoes should not be placed into your recycling bin, instead bring them to charity shops or dedicated clothes banks for recycling. Items of clothing can wrap around machinery parts and cause problems at recycling facilities.
- Batteries should not be placed into bins. Batteries must be recycled appropriately and can be placed in battery boxes located in any shop that sells them. Car batteries can be brought to local recycling centres or garages where you can get money back for them due to their lead content.
Schools often collect batteries and can win prizes for doing so see if any of your local schools have a scheme.
- Know the correct collection day for your area – to ensure recyclables don’t build up and end up in the wrong bin