We know that food waste recycling can be a tricky business. That is why we have put this post together to answer the most common faq around food waste recycling and the brown bin.
Can bones or cooked meats go into the brown bin?
This is by far the most common question we get asked. The answer is yes, all meats, cooked or raw and bones can go into the brown bin. If it is a large cut of meat for example a chicken carcass we recommend that you wrap it in newspaper first to absorb any fats. The confusion around meat stems from home composting. Home composters vary dramatically, some are suitable for cooked foods or just raw food. If you want to learn more about home composting here is a link to a previous blog on the subject.
How do we know what food packaging can and can’t be composted?
The brown bin can take a range of food packaging. Examples of common compostable packaging include egg boxes, pizza boxes (make sure they are torn up) and wine corks (not plastic). It is increasingly common to see compostable fruit trays, just make sure that it is marked as compostable. As a general rule if the packaging is paper or cardboard based and doesn’t have a plastic film it is compostable.
Can grease proof paper or sandwich bags be composted?
This is a tricky one, although grease proof paper and bags look just like paper they are in fact specially treated to be moisture and grease resistant. This treatment is usually based on petrochemicals which means that they cannot be composted. Examples include muffin cases, Chipper bags and baking parchment. We recently added a range of 100% compostable baking parchments, cupcake cases and sandwich bags to our Obeo Living range. They are all compatible with the brown bin.
Why can’t dog litter go into the brown bin?
This is a commonly mistaken one. Yes, dog poop and cat litter are organic materials but even so they cannot go into the brown bin. The reason is that animals can have organisms in their stomach and maybe even diseases that are harmful to humans. We don’t want any risk of these diseases being passed onto our lovely compost. So yes, you’ve guessed it, even baby nappies that are 100% compostable can’t go into the brown bin.
Why can’t ashes go into the brown bin?
A lot of materials we burn contain elements that can contaminate compost and are harmful to plants and soil. The only exception to this is ashes from pure natural wood or briquettes. As well as this ashes also pose a potential fire risk as hot ashes in a bin could cause a fire at the composting facility.
A great resource for all your food waste FAQ is mywaste.ie.
As always if you have any unanswered questions around food waste please let me know in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them.