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4 Common Recycling Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

A recent Environmental Protection Agency Report has outlined that Ireland is off track to meet key 2025 EU recycling targets. Household and commercial municipal waste stood at 41% in 2021, short of the 55% target for 2025.

Our role in sustainable waste management is more critical than ever. Read below to discover the most common recycling mistakes and learn practical tips to transform your habits.


Mistake 1: Contaminated bins.

A bin is contaminated when it includes incorrect waste types. This is a common mistake that can hinder the recycling process. One non-recyclable item can deem the entire bin (or even bin truck!) not fit for the recycling process.

Therefore, it is essential to familiarise yourself with what can go in each bin. Avoid ‘hoping for the best’, and always double check recycling resources or check packaging for recycling logos if you are unsure.

To make this easier, download and print our guide, and keep it near your waste bins.


Mistake 2: Putting soiled items in the recycling bin.  

A common mistake that we see at Walsh Waste & Recycling is soiled recyclable items entering a recycling bin, such as used disposable coffee cups, greasy pizza boxes or lunch containers.

To avoid this mistake, keep it simple and remember clean, dry and loose.

  • Clean and dry all recyclables before throwing them into your green bin, otherwise it is general waste.
  • Also, make a habit of separating each item (e.g. the dirty coffee cup from the clean, recyclable protective sleeve) to maximise your recycling rates.


Mistake 3: Tissues and kitchen roll.

Even when clean, tissues and kitchen roll cannot be recycled, as the material is not strong enough to make new products or be reused.

However, kitchen rolls are compostable if they have not been contaminated with cleaning fluids or cooking oil. Therefore, putting your used kitchen roll into your brown food bin is a great way to reduce your general waste volumes.

Quick tip: remember to separate the inner cardboard roll and put it in your recycling bin!


Mistake 4: Batteries.

Batteries can be recycled, however not through regular curbside pick-ups. They are very sensitive to heat and friction and must therefore be treated differently.

Save your used batteries in a box and bring them to your local civic amenity site or drop off point to be recycled.

To learn more, read our blog on safe battery disposal. 


Thank you for reading our blog.

Walsh Waste has been collecting commercial waste bins in Galway for over 50 years now. Contact us today if you are a business and would like to discuss your waste management solutions.