What Happens to Your Old Stuff?

Householders can bring a wide range of items to there Civic Recycling Facility or local bring to local centres for recycling and disposal. These facilities are generally for domestic use only and commercial waste is not accepted.

Recyclers can dispose of many different types of recyclable materials in just one visit but there may be a charge depending on the items. It’s best to check with your local centre to determine the cost and what will be accepted and recycled. A list of recycling centres in Dublin can be found here.

So what happens to the material once you bring it to your local recycling centre?

Glass Recycling

Glass bottles and jars are transformed into cullet in Ireland The cullet is sold to glass manufacturers as a raw material for new glass product like drinks bottles.

1.1 Glass
Glass for Recycling

Before this happens, the glass needs to be collected and recycled. Remember, you should empty any liquid from your bottles and jars, remove any lids and caps and leave the labels (lids are mainly metal and can be recycled in the green bin). Please do not place broken plates, cups, saucers, pyrex or drinking containers into your local bottle banks. Just one teacup mixed with glass renders a whole load of mixed glass un-usable!

Did you know? Iron, copper or chromium are added to molten clear glass to produce green glass. Brown glass and green glass can only be recycled into glass products of the same colours. Green glass helps protects its contents from temperature changes and sunlight. Green glass is mostly used for food and drink products.

Plastics, Paper, Cardboard Recycling

Plastics, paper and cardboard are baled and sold to waste brokers on international markets. These balers are shipped to various destinations depending on market condition/price.

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Paper / Cardboard – Recycle IT

The actual recycling process involves sorting cardboard into different types. Once complete shredding is done to break down the cardboard paper fibres into minute pieces. Once shredded into pieces, it is mixed with water and chemicals to breakdown the paper fibres into pulp. The pulped material is then blended with new pulp, generally from wood chips that ultimately help the resulting substance to solidify after which contaminants like plastics and metals staples are removed. The pulp is de-inked after which it is blended with new production materials and put to dry

Fridges, Freezers Recycling

Fridges and Freezers are shipped to the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe where they are dismantled in a specialist factory which removes the hazardous gases from the fridges and freezers. Usable metals are segregated into ferrous and nonferrous metal fractions.

Computers for Recycling – Recycle IT

The metal fractions are put on the market for recycling through the smelting process. The ferrous smelting furnaces we use are producing mostly long products i.e. Rebar or reinforced steel. The nonferrous smelters produce anything from car engines to knives and forks!

E-Waste Recycling (WEEE)

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is e-waste equipment that is unused, broken or dated. It is important to dispose responsibly of any appliance that runs on electricity (or that contains electrical parts) in order to avoid causing damage to the environment.

Computer System Board

Recycling e-waste involves transport, logistics, large recycling organisations and smaller specialist recyclers:

  1. Recycling companies in Ireland currently export many items to countries that have more advanced recycling systems or that can extract components and reusable materials from the waste, e.g. fridge recycling.
  2. Recovery facility recover metals and plastics by putting items such as small household appliances through shredders or mills (also known as fragmentizers).
  3. Smaller recycling businesses may specialize for example in, computers and metals for safe recycling or component reuse, repair and refurbishment.

To learn more about e-waste recycling in Ireland you can watch this video

Green Waste Recycling

Green waste is biodegradable waste that can be composed of garden or park waste. It includes things like grass clippings, shrub and yard clippings, branches, woodchips, bark, wood, palm trees, branches, and weeds.

Green Waste is transported and recycled at a number of location across Ireland which is listed here It can be turned into compost or Christmas Trees can be chipped for mulch.

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Leaves for Compost – Recycle IT

Paint Waste

Paint is sent to various facilities in Europe where the paint goes for recovery. For example, in one such facility, it is mixed to sawdust and then used as a fuel in industrial processes.


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Used Paint Containers

Choose water-based paints where possible as these are less hazardous. Product choices are widening and there are more “Eco-Friendly” paint options now available. But small amounts and use the tin in full.

You might try  purchasing recovered paint for reuse at the rediscovery centre 

Bulky Waste

Bulk waste goes through a shredder that breaks the various elements in the bulky waste. This shredded material then goes through a series of screens and sorting mechanisms where the fractions that can be recycled are removed (wood, metal, aluminium, etc.). The other fraction is shredded further and turned into Refuse Derived Fuel – a combustible material used in cement kilns. A small portion cannot be used and for incineration.

Bulky waste can be domestic waste that is too big for your usual bin collection. Some bulky waste, such as good quality furniture can be donated to charity shops for re-sale or to help residents on low income. Some organisations may be able to come and collect those items for free or at a low cost. Examples of organisations include Age Action. Dublin City Council also operate a bulk waste collection service

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning social enterprise providing recycling collection and drop off services for all types of waste electrical, electronic equipment (WEEE) and pure metal items.

During 2019 Recycle IT operated drop off and collection services to tens of thousands of homes, schools, charities and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which includes thousands of batteries, computers, cables, monitors, kettles, microwaves and screens.

Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development, Dormant Accounts Fund, Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Leinster.

For further details about our free and cost-effective services call us on 01 4578321, email info@recycleit.ie or visit the Recycle IT website at www.recycleit.ie

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Recycle IT – Repak Award Winner 2019 – WEEE Champion


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