Conference 2019

2019 Irish Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Conference

12 September 2019

Minister Bruton Launches Report on Pioneering National Brown Bin Initiative

Press Release: 30.01.2019


Minister Bruton Launches Report on Pioneering National Brown Bin Initiative


Thanks to a pioneering consumer focused initiative, households in Sligo City are leading the nation in food waste recycling according to a new report launched last Friday by The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton TD.

The national Pilot scheme of the Brown Bin education programme was done in Sligo City. The aim of the Pilot was to see how the provision an education programme of waste advisors going door to door, kitchen caddies and compostable liners to householders, could improve the amount and quality of food waste in the Brown Bin.

By the end of the 12 month initiative, the amount of food being recycled from Sligo households more than doubled and at the same time, the amount of non-compostable material (plastic, metals, glass) found in brown bins was slashed from 18% to 1%.

Launching the report Minister Bruton said “The results of this initiative show that if we want to help people properly manage their food waste and indeed cut down on their food waste, we need to be doing more to support people in understanding and using their bins. This pilot project confirms that there are real gains to be made in using the brown bin correctly and has identified some really practical steps which could be useful for other towns to adopt.

Percy Foster CEO of Cré – Composting Association of Ireland said “the results of the project showed that by giving people a kitchen caddy and liners to use in the kitchen makes recycling food waste easier and cleaner for people. Given the positive outcome of the pilot it should be emulated across the country”

In Ireland, every household in villages with more than 500 people should have and use a brown bin for food waste but to date getting people to use the bins has been a challenge. By their nature, food scraps are wet and often smelly and not something anyone really wants to think about but when collected separately and recycled back to soil through composting and anaerobic digestion they can bring economic and relevant climate change benefits.

Siobhan Gillen of Sligo County Council said “we welcomed the opportunity to be involved in this pilot, the uptake of using brown bins correctly increased dramatically and we are still seeing the positive effects today. Provision of ‘door-to-door’ education not only showed positive results for diversion of food waste material from the general waste bin, but it also showed that educating households on correct waste management practice as a whole, allows for better quality recycling and a reduction in disposal of waste to landfill which in turn has a financial gain for the householder”

In many parts of the world, households are given specially designed small kitchen bins and mater- bi compostable liners to makes the recycling of food scraps easy, clean and hygienic and this report has shown it to be the case too.

The report can be downloaded here: National Brown Bin Awareness Pilot Report Sligo 30.01.2019



Further Information contact: Percy Foster, T: 086- 8129260



Notes to Editor:


Photo Caption:

L to R: Tony Breton (Novamont), Minister Bruton, Siobhan Gillen (Sligo County Council) & Percy Foster (Cré)


Sligo County Council coordinated the national Pilot Scheme of the Brown Bin programme in Sligo City. The Project was jointly funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Sligo County Council, Cré – Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland, and Novamont.

Students on Compost Course

Cré – Institute of Technology Sligo Certificate in Compost Facility Operation

pictured above are the 22 students on the accredited compost facility operation course


Cré Partnership with GIY Ireland

L to R: Pat O’Donnell, Sean Campbell, Heather Loughlin, Ronan Douglas (GIY), Maurice Cremin, Martin Eves & Derry Murphy, pictured at GORC conference.

GIY Ireland is a non profit charity with over 150,000 members. Its aim is to help people grow their own vegetables. GIY and Cré have drafted up a three year partnership plan.    giy logo

In this partnership plan, GIY Ireland will assist Cré with the following:
• Data collection from its members on Cré surveys
• Incorporating educational tools into the GIY school programmes
• Three years of promotional campaigns to their members e.g. pay by weight/brown bin in 2016

In addition, Cré will be promoted as one of the main sponsors of Grow Circle/ Grown HQ in Waterford ( and provided with an advert space in the GIY magazine.

Cré sought support from members to fund this programme and we are delighted to announce the following members have pledged their support to the three year programme;



                 Cremin Farm Compost


McGill        OD AGRI                     EnrichMiltownotoole



Best Practice Guide for Door to Door Brown Bin Education in Ireland

Best Practice Guide for Door to Door Brown Bin Education


The National Brown Bin Awareness Pilot project took place in Sligo. Based on the experiences from the pilot, a best practice guide for door to door education of householders on how to use a brown bin collection service has been developed.


View the full guide here.


The guide can be used by a waste collection company or by a local authority as part of an education programme.


It is based mainly on the experiences of the three brown bin advisors (Margaret Dunleavy, David McGovern and Rachel Finan), who conducted the national pilot of the brown bin advisors programme in Sligo city from July 2014 to March 2015. During the pilot, an estimated 3,000 face to face interviews with householders were conducted.


It is recommended that if a local authority is going to do an education programme that it is conducted in partnership with all the local waste collectors. It is important that all the waste collectors give a full commitment to the programme as without it, the programme will not be successful.


This report contains the following sections:
• Planning
• Preparation in advance of going door to door
• Face to face interviews
• Problems encountered by the Sligo team
• Advice for waste collectors


There is an appendix that contains templates with recommended resources.


Key Recommendations
• Develop constructive partnership and effective communications with all key stakeholders – e.g. local authorities, waste collectors, processors (compost/biogas plants), and any third party service delivery company
• Establish priority goals early in the programme
• Maximise the use of available resources
• Be flexible and willing to tweak / change the programme during the project


Special thanks are due to the following organisations who provided funding for the pilot;
• The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
• Sligo County Council
• Novamont
• Cré- Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland

Global Organic Resources Congress 3-4 May 2016

L to R: Henrik Lystad (Chairman, European Compost Network), Eric Liégeois (DG GROW, European Commission) Tony Breton (Novamont), Martin Eves (Chairman of Cré) and Massimo Centemero (CIC – Italian Composting and Biogas Association) at GORC.

GORC – Global Organic Resources Congress


Organised by Cré and the European Compost Network, GORC will bring together key stakeholders to discuss new opportunities in the circular bioeconomy and in the anaerobic digestion and composting of organic wastes sector.

Key Speakers

·        Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development

·        Mairead McGuinness MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament will speak on the                            Circular Economy

·        Eric Liégeois, DG GROW, European Commission will speak on New EU Fertiliser Regulations

·        Henrik Lystad, Chairman, European Compost Network will speak on Operating a Compost/AD               Plant in the Year 2050

·        David Newman, Biobased and Biodegradable Industries Association will speak on the                                  Bioeconomy

·        Dr. René Rozendal, Paques BV, will speak on Next Generation Anaerobic Digestion

·        Allan Yee, Composting Council of Canada will speak on Greenhouse Gas Reductions through                  Composting

·        Hans-Peter Schmidt, Delinat Institute for Ecology and Climate Farming will speak on The                         Innovative Uses of Biochar

·        Wilbert Smeets,  SESA SpA will speak on The Sesa Biomethane and Compost Production                           Facility

·        Gert-Jan Klaasse Bos, Meerlanden Holding N.V, De Meerlanden Compost and BiogAs Facility


Tourist Day  •  Welcome Event & Craft Fair  •  Trade Exhibition  •  Site Visit  •  Research Poster Display  •

Reduced PHD Student Rate  •  Early Bird Hotel Rates

Download the GORC Programme

GORC Sponsors

Novamont, CIC – Italian Composting & Biogas Association, SESA, Irish Environmental Protection Agency & Irish Tourism Board

GORC Supporters

The European Biogas Association, FEAD, The Phosphorus Platform, Biocycle, Compost Council of Canada and the Biobased and Biodegradable Industries Association

Minister Kelly Launches

brownbin                                                                   L to R: Martin Eves (Cré), Minister Alan Kelly & Percy Foster (Cré)

Minister Kelly Launches

“ provides a valuable platform for householders to understand the importance of recycling food waste using their brown bin.” said Mr Alan Kelly, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, on 9th October 2015 at the launch of at OD Agri Compost Site, Tipperary.

Since July of this year the provision of a separate collection service for food waste has benefited almost all areas of the country. The Minister noted that the food waste regulations introduced by his Department have already contributed to an increase in the recycling of food waste which reduces our greenhouse gas emissions, helps meet our EU landfill diversion targets and will support new job creation in the production of high quality compost for use in agriculture, landscaping and horticulture.

Minister Kelly stated “As pay-by-weight comes on stream and more householders are encouraged to recycle their food waste, will be a handy toolkit for families to learn what food to recycle and how to recycle their bio-waste correctly and reduce their waste bill”. The website has a wealth of information including questions and answers on a range of food waste topics and details of waste collectors operating across the country.

The Minister noted that “The correct use of the brown bin will increase the amount of food waste that is recovered for the production of energy, compost and digestate, bringing opportunities for added value through job creation- this is the essence of the circular economy.”

Martin Eves Chairman of Cré said “The successful rollout of the brown bin is dependent on appropriate education and awareness measures being introduced to support households in using the brown bin correctly. We were delighted to partner with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government to develop the website;, to provide the public with the information required to use the brown bin appropriately” was jointly funded by Cré – Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.

Diverting food waste from the more expensive residual bin to the brown bin will save households money and with the average Irish householder discarding up to €1,000 worth of food each year, has lots of information and tips on how to prevent food waste arising in the first place.  Why not click on and discover how to recycle your food waste and play your part in helping the environment, contribute to the circular economy and save money through the effective use of the brown bin in your home today.


Photo: (L to R) Lee-Jane Eastwood (Cre), Sandra Smith (Dublin City Council), Eimear Joyce (Pearse College), George Keogh (Chairperson of Pearse College Allotments) and Klaus Laitenberger (Horticulturist & Author).


Last year Cré secured funding under Local Agenda 21 from Dublin City Council and Department of Environment, Community and Local Government for a compost promoting project in the Dublin City Council area to run in 2015 called ‘grow a row’.


The project, based on a similar successful initiative in Canada, involves supplying community gardens or groups with compost, enabling extra vegetables to be grown and supplied to local food banks. It is also a great way to improve awareness of the benefits of using compost in the garden.


In conjunction with Dublin City Council, Cré are delighted to announce that Pearse College Community Allotments have taken up the call to get involved in this initiative and will be supplying the extra vegetables grown to a local food bank. A launch event at Pearse College on 4th June, which saw Enrich kindly donating four tonnes of compost for the project, included a talk by eminent horticulturalist Klaus Laitenberger and the official launch of the custom built website


As well as a platform to showcase the project at each stage, the website will also function as a tool to allow the project to be replicated by other groups around the country.  Factsheets on vegetable growing with compost were developed for the website as simple guides to encourage even the novice gardener to get involved.


Vegetable Growing with Compost Factsheets









National Brown Bin Programme

The National Brown Bin Education Programme is

Welcome to Cré – Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland