3 Bins

Different Types of Bins Needed for Irish Rubbish

The Irish refuse and recycling rules may leave you slightly confused. Below we have compiled the latest information on all the different bins that are collecting for refuse or recycling. This includes a list of “what goes in” to these bins and the different size options available.

Please note, the colours of the bins can change depending on the collection service. So the colouring system changes form country to county and from the bin service provider. So much for standardisation..

4 Different Types of Irish Bins

There are primarily four different types of bins that each have their requirements to be fulfilled. This guide aims to clear all your confusions by distributing items into the ‘What Goes In’ and ‘What Stays Out’ lists. 

The Green Bins(Sometimes Blue)

What Goes In

The green big is usually used to collect ‘Packaging Waste.’

You can feed the green bins most things paper. These include; magazines, newspapers, junk mail, paper, phone books, plain envelopes (must not be of soft plastic), catalogs, tissue boxes, calendars, sugar bags, milk cartons, used juice and beverage cartons, egg boxes, school copybooks, textbooks (if they cannot be donated or reused), and paper potato bags.

You can also feed the green bins most things carton. These include cereal boxes, packaging boxes, food boxes, kitchen towel tubes. Do make sure to extract plastic inserts from the cardboard boxes beforehand.

A green bin will also devour empty plastic containers. These include; mouth wash bottles, salad dressing bottles, shampoo bottles, cosmetic bottles, juice bottles, bathroom bottles, laundry detergent bottles, mineral bottles, water bottles, window cleaning bottles, and milk bottles.

Regarding metal, aluminium and steel cans. These include; pet food cans, food cans, soup tins, biscuit tins, and empty deodorant cans. 

Make sure to separate these items from their plastic covers or lids.

What Stays Out

The green bin dislikes being filled with certain things. These include; baby wipes, contaminated packagings (greasy, dirty, or residue layered), oil, liquids, soil, light bulbs, electronic equipment, glass, batteries, food waste, medical waste, polystyrene, nappies, and sanitary products (even if they aren’t stinking!)


Ensure all the cardboard, paper, and clingfilm that you throw into the green big are completely dry. This is because these items are given a thorough wash at recycling facilities. If these items were to include bits of food, it would lead to the whole batch being spoilt. Moisture can also ruin paper fibers, leading to them becoming frail and unsuitable for further paper production.

The Brown Bin

What Goes In

The big bad brown bin is after all the food and garden waste! It is ready to devour all of the following; meat, poultry, fish, bones, fruit, vegetables, coffee grind, tea bags (the non plastic versions!), bread, biscuits, rice, eggshells, cardboard egg boxes, raw food, cooked food, grass clippings, small twigs, and out-of-date food (packaging striped of course!)

What Stays Out

Anything other than the items mentioned above must be kept out of reach of the brown bin. This includes; glass, plastic containers, paper materials, plastic bags, nappies, and different types of cans.


Since all the food and compose waste is a natural attraction to flies and all sorts of bugs, it’ll need special protection. Ensure that your brown bin is lined with a biodegradable liner and the lid is fully closed at all times. It is also best to keep the brown bin in the shade and out of direct sunlight.

The Black Bin

What Goes In

The black bin is willing to accept nappies, plastic bags, plastic food wrappings, animal waste, ashes, general refuse, aluminum foil, contents of hoover, and netting from various fruits (like oranges and onions!)

What Stays Out

Usually, the black bin denies digesting various types of papers (including magazines and newspapers, food and drink cans, glass bottles, garden waste, and plastic bottles. 

The Red Bin

All the glass! During Covid lockdown, the red bins have been getting a little bit more wine bottles than normal. The annoying thing about the bin is when it comes time to wheeling it out for collection, the bin is so loud that it lets everyone in our neighbourhood just how good a time you were having. 

All the Different Bin Sizes

Several different bin sizes can cater to you and easily move around your rubbish when needed. Pick out the ones that best suit your needs!

However, note that the sizes mentioned below may vary slightly according to the company you purchase them from.

Mini Bin

  • Size: 2 wheeler, 140 liter
  • Bag Capacity: 2-3 standard size recycling/refuse bags
  • Rubbish Type: Mixed recycling, organic waste, glass, general waste

Small Bin

  • Size: 2 wheeler, 240 liter
  • Bag Capacity: 4-5 standard size recycling/ refuse bags
  • Rubbish Type: Mixed recycling, organic waste, glass, general waste

Large Bin

  • Size: 2 wheeler, 360 liter
  • Bag Capacity: 6-7 bags
  • Rubbish Type: Mixed recycling, general waste

Recycling Made Easy

Now that you are aware of the different purposes of each of the four bins, recycling has no doubt been made easy!

You must continue to remain cautious of the different items and their due places in the bins. If it helps, you can print out this guide and stick it on your refrigerator or kitchen counter.