Irish businesses and householders are still putting the majority of their waste into the wrong bin, according to a report.
More than two-thirds of waste disposed of in general bins could be placed in recycling or organic waste bins, according to a report by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA carries out a national municipal waste characterisation project every four years to provide data on the nature and composition of Ireland’s roadside municipal waste.
The agency said the report shows there has been very little change in practices since 2018.
Food waste is the most common waste in commercial general bins (30 per cent) and household general bins (17 per cent).
Thousands of households and businesses still do not have an organic waste bin and correct food waste segregation cannot be achieved until this is addressed, the report notes.
Recyclable materials such as plastics, paper, cardboard and metal account for around 24 per cent of the household general bin and 37 per cent of the commercial general bin.
EPA spokesman Micheál Lehane said the data was “disappointing” and that organic waste bins need to rolled out “urgently” to businesses and households.
A review of household segregation practices found 64 per cent of items in general bins could be put into recycling bins or organic bins or brought to civic amenity sites, recycling centres or bring banks.
In contrast, only 5 per cent of items in organic bins should be in general bins or recycling bins which indicates that householders are putting mostly organic and compostable wastes into the organic bin.
On the commercial side, food waste, paper and plastics are the top three wastes in general bins. Some 70 per cent of food waste generated by the commercial sector is placed in general bins with only 25 per cent placed in organic bins.
Meanwhile, 75 per cent of plastic generated by the commercial sector is placed in general bins with only 25 per cent placed in recycling bins.
A review of commercial-segregation practices found 69 per cent of items in general bins should be put into recycling bins or organic bins or brought to civic amenity sites and bring banks.