Thornton’s recycling company has launched its Brown Bin service in Dunboyne County Meath in accordance with the new Department of Environment Community and Local Government requirements as directed by the EU. This directive will see every house in Ireland with a Brown Bin food waste bin service by 2016 above a population density of 500 persons, and the onus will be on the household to prove they are using the Brown Bin for food waste. When fully rolled out (excuse the pun) it will then be illegal to put food cooked or not into your Black or general waste bin, hence reducing significantly the amount of food waste destined for land fill.

You might ask how this will be policed well quite easily really, as all bins are electronically chipped even now so it will be quite easy for any local council to ask its refuse collection contractors for monthly print outs of the houses that did not use a Brown bin in any given month. Inspectors can then call to these households and even with a general home composter which can only deal with Vegetable / Garden waste you still have to show where the cooked food is being disposed of. So unless you have a dog which it is not fair or correct to feed them human salt and fat laden food scraps, you can expect to be levied with a substantial fine as directed by the EU.

However you could establish a wormery in your back garden space permitting of course, or purchase a custom high temperature and sealed composter from Bio Finch into which you can put everything of a food and plant origin. All very fine if you like gardening and have the space and time to do all this, and if not then the Brown Bin is with you for life. Thornton’s is the only operator to provide a free cornstarch liner to line the Brown Bin with, and this liner is fully compostable and works really well in keeping the Brown Bin clean from food etc sticking to its walls or building up at the bottom of the bin. However as this is a breathable material it tries to breathe in the closed bin, so ends up sweating instead and the moisture condensates on the bins walls and collecting at the bottom of the bin. (see here for more info)This clear but often odorous liquid is what’s known as Leachate and if not dealt with and allowed to compound from collection to collection will become seriously odourous, and maggots and flies will be abundant between the liner and the bins walls.

To address this after the bin has been emptied simply with care get a kettle of boiling hot water, and pull the bin towards you and pour the water slowly down the four walls then pouring in any remaining water. Then close the bin and give it a good rocking and allow the water to go cold. Image

Now DO NOT remove the water as is just diluted Leachate, simply leave it in the bin and attach a new liner and when the bin is collected in another two weeks the water will simply go into the back of the truck which is very useful at the compost facility.