Littering, Laws and Waste Labelling

On May 5th 2021 Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, announced €5 million in additional funding for litter infrastructure and awareness campaigns to encourage people to dispose of their rubbish carefully.

As many more people meet and socialise outdoors, there has been a surge in littering. Councils plan to install more bins and assign additional staff to tackle the problem but we all can do more!

Dublin Litter

If you are out and about this summer please bring your litter home. If the bin is full don’t just leave your packaging, bottles or cans beside the bin. Lead by example and leave no trace.

May 5th 2021 also marks the publication of the 2020 National Litter Pollution Monitoring System (NLPMS) Results. The publication provide important statistical data on the extent, causes and composition of litter in Ireland.

In announcing the publication of the 2020 Results, Minister Ryan acknowledged the role being played by both local authorities and communities in tackling Ireland’s litter challenges and noted new proposals to combat litter.

Waste Laws

Public Places

Leaving or throwing litter in a public place is an offence that can be subject to an on-the-spot fine of €150 and up to a maximum fine of €3000 if you are convicted of a litter offence in the District Court.

Local authorities across Ireland are responsible for keeping public places that they control, including public roads clean and litter free. This includes cleaning programmes and the provision and emptying of litter bins so let them know if you see full bins or ongoing littering in your area. Gardaí also have the power to issue on the spot fines for littering.


Did you know your County Council has adopted waste Segregation, Storage and Presentation of Household and Commercial Waste Bye-Laws which will ensure a consistent approach to managing waste across Ireland.

Did you know failure to comply with any of the requirements of the waste bye-laws may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (Maximum €75) being issued by a member of your local County or City Council or by a member of An Garda Siochana and may result in a fine of up to €2,500 on conviction?

Waste Bye-Laws

These bye-laws apply to all households, apartments and commercial premises and aim to aid the prevention and control of environmental pollution.

What this really means   

Now the onus is on every individual, household, apartments and commercial premises to provide proof that they have a contract in place with an authorized waste collector or that they regularly use a recycling centre or civic amenity site. (a docket or receipt is can be provided on request at recycling centres).

By correctly managing your waste you will:

  • Help address challenges with climate
  • Improve the quantity and quality of recyclables collected
  • Reduce waste going to landfill and incineration
  • Conserve our planets limited resources

You can start to reduce waste by simply: 

  • Saying no to single-use disposable items like razors, batteries, wipes, coffee cups
  • Make a weekly shopping list for your groceries, and follow it
  • Stop or reduce packaging by buying loose produce and buying in bulk
  • Switch to rechargeable batteries
  • Place a no junk mail sticker on your letterbox
  • Some using plastic and especially single-use plastics
My Waste Ireland – Logo

Small Quantity – share a bin! 

The best and probably most affordable option in this instance is bin sharing with a family member or friend living in close proximity and maybe a less frequent collection. A letter from the bin account holder will be sufficient evidence, this account holder will then be obliged to provide evidence of contact with a permitted waste collection company.

Segregate recyclable

It’s important that you segregate recyclable waste from your residual waste and present these separately.  Please note: If you are living in an urban area, small town or village with a population of over 500 you are required to segregate food waste* Please don’t include metal, electronic or electrical waste with your recyclable or general waste. You can drop it to a recycling centre such as Recycle IT or have it collected by Recycle IT.

Benefits of Bye-Laws 

In our view, the waste bye-laws can encourage and increase formal recycling through drop off or collection for reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery. They will also encourage people to reduce their waste, separate their waste which leads to an increase in the quality of waste for collection.


The three labels were launched in 2019. They are for use by producers, manufacturers and retailers on a are voluntary basis. The labels clearly identify whether an item is widely recycled, whether it is not recyclable, and whether more information should be sought before deciding how to dispose. Please look at your packaging for the labelling if unsure.

My Waste Posters

These labels were introduced at a time when two thirds of the plastic used by industry in packaging is non-recyclable in Ireland today. They aim to encourage enterprise to reduce their use of non-recyclable materials and use recycled, recyclable packaging.

Please click here to learn more or download information in Irish, Chinese, Polish or Russian on the waste bye-laws. You can read more about the new waste labelling system here

Guides to Waste Bye-Laws – Irish, Chinese, Polish or Russian

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT, are an award-winning Dublin based social enterprise offering electrical, electronic and metal recycling. Services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT are supported by Pobal, the Dormant Accounts Fund, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow.

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

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