CRÉ - Composting Association of Ireland TEO

What is Composting?

Composting is the breakdown of organic material, such as kitchen or garden waste, by organisms in a controlled environment. Bacteria, fungi, worms and beetles are some of the organisms that cause breakdown or decomposition.
These organisms bring about decomposition by feeding on organic material. Organic material is anything that was once living. For instance flowers, trees, grass, fruit & vegetables, eggshells, tea, coffee, are all organic and will decompose. Composting of organic waste from your kitchen is a relatively simple process that can be carried out in your own garden. The result is compost, a dark, nutrient-rich soil conditioner

According to a Environmental Protection Agency survey, every Irish home producers over a tonne of waste each year. Of this organic waste (food and garden waste) constitutes the single largest component of household waste, accounting for 32% of the total.
Everybody including households, food outlets, restaurants and other businesses that generate organic waste such as fruit and vegetable waste, grass clippings, hedge trimmings, etc. should compost their waste, which will result in waste charge savings and produce high quality compost.

Separating organic waste from dry recyclables (paper, card, plastic, etc.) is an important first step in the process of reducing Ireland’s dependence on landfills and producing the highest quality compost.

If you have a garden of any kind – you can have a compost bin. Many local authorities now provide home composting bins at subsidised rates or you can purchase one at a garden centre or hardware shop. There is no excuse – they are widely available and very easy to use. Many local authorities will also be introducing a 'brown bin' collection of organic waste which will then be composted at large scale  composting facilities. There are 'Brown Bin' schemes in Galway, Waterford, Dublin City and Fingal.  The highest quality compost can be produced from the brown bin scheme. 

Why Compost Waste?

If you compost your organic waste, you:

  • Reduce the amount of waste you send for final disposal.
  • Make the rest of your waste easier to recycle.
  • Reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfills. This reduces methane gas emissions and the risk of other environmental impacts associated with landfill sites. There are also less attractions for pests and birds at landfills when organic waste is removed.
  • Convert your waste into a valuable compost for the garden – reducing the need for artificial fertilisers

In addition,

  • Challenging targets must be achieved for the diversion of biodegradable waste from landfill.
  • Increasingly waste collection charges are based on the weight/volume of waste. Composting of your kitchen and garden waste reduces the amount of waste presented for collection, lowering charges and saving you money.

National Biodegradable Waste Strategy

The Government published a policy setting ambitious targets to divert biodegradable waste from landfill. This will implement EU laws on landfilling (‘Landfill Directive‘) which seeks to reduce the amount of organic waste that is sent to landfill. The National Biodegradable Waste Strategy was finalised in April 2006. This policy outlines the requirement for households and businesses to employ a separate bin for food and garden waste, and this waste will have to be treated biologically (either home composting or collected for central composting/ anaerobic digestion). The policy sets a target to produce clean compost from source separation that can be used in horticulture, agriculture, forestry and other applications.




What is composting? | Why is it a good idea? | How to get started. | Where should I put my composter? | What should I put in the bin? |What should I NOT put in the bin?

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