Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2016-11-14T16:34:54+00:00
Finally are you the Householder happy with our service and Information?2015-11-12T17:43:10+00:00

At Brown Bin Rescue we are passionate about addressing the problems associated with Household Food Waste collection and storage, and the environmental issues associated with it also. Selling the products required to achieve this at low cost, and direct to the householder with added value e.g. bin wash service, we believe is paramount in achieving harmony between the household and its Brown bin.

But aside from selling products we are also passionate in delivering the education required as demanded by the E.U. through research and our own family and friends experience’s, and recorded on this site. In addition we believe that it is important for people young and old to understand the process involved with waste, its new and brighter future in Ireland especially with job creation, so that you can make responsible decisions with your waste reduction and disposal to save on costs and help save the environment for our own kids.

This initiative promoted by Brown Bin Rescue must and will be driven by YOU the householders of Ireland as you strive to minimise your waste and costs for its removal, and not by the refuse collectors.

Thank you for supporting Brown Bin Rescue, and 3 other Irish companies plus our Italian colleague, and helping to secure our jobs and hopefully more too as we all continue to grow with your continued support.

Can Composting play a role in rectifying major environmental disasters?2016-11-14T16:35:13+00:00

Yes particularly with oil spillage disasters.

AS A VETERAN member of the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Response Team, Harry L. Allen III, PhD, has helped manage the Exxon Valdez oil spill, cyanide spills in Latvia and Guyana, toxic waste dumps in Haiti and the continuing toxic legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam.


Allen specializes in the cleanup of oil spills, hazardous waste and contaminated soils through bioremediation – the use of microscopic organisms to break down toxic chemicals. He suggests that compost could play a pivotal role in mitigating the Deepwater Horizon spill both on shore and in shallow waters. The only limitation would be that the mixture should not sink.

Compost is a rich source of bacteria and actinomyces, microscopic organisms that fall somewhere between bacteria and plants. These are equipped with complex metabolic systems that breakdown complex hydrocarbons like those found in oil, pesticides and other common petroleum-based pollutants.

“Microorganisms need some kind of growth medium,” Allen says. “The key is that you have to have suitable environmental conditions for bacterial growth and the organic matrix. Compost is the secret ingredient that allows the bacteria to work.”

Read from Source

Do Restaurants support Food Waste initiatives?2016-11-14T16:35:12+00:00

Yes they do, now that the legislation has changed requiring all premises from your office tea station, to school canteens, to full size restaurants to separate their Food Waste and have it collected separately too.

Unilever the association for Restaurants in Ireland initiated the first steps in creating awareness and responsibility for restaurants in Ireland with Food Waste, and from its survey these were some of the findings.

Irish restaurants throw away almost 64,000 tonnes of food waste a year, resulting in a loss of €125m.

  • 53% of food wasted in restaurants is generated during preparation
  • Out of home, Irish diners are most responsible for food waste (65%)
  • 48% of people surveyed admitting to over-ordering  and  leaving food behind
  • Average waste per Irish restaurant is 4.5 tonnes annually, costing €8,840 a year.
  • 34% of diners blame portion sizes as reason for leaving food on their plate.

Link to full report here.

Is there any other use for Compost besides Gardens, Farms and Digesters?2015-11-12T17:43:11+00:00

Actually there is, it is now being used to provide fast green ups for Golf Fairways as controlled compost application trials, at the K Club golf course in County Kildare have proved very successful at fast green ups without causing fast grass growth. So reducing the need for excessive grass cutting, unnecessary compaction of the soil, and dependency on Petro Chemical derived fertilisers.

I have heard rumours of refuse collectors collecting Brown and Green bins and tipping them into the same truck so why bother separating at home?2016-11-14T16:35:12+00:00

This was always deemed to be a negative urban myth put out there to scupper the efforts of the previous County Councils and environmentally conscious private refuse collectors alike in promoting the use of the Brown bin. However such an event did take place In County Kildare Sept/2012 , was videoed, put up on youtube, and even the County Councils name was still visible on the side of the operators truck. It was then reported on in the papers and on the radio, which did not help to dispute the previous rumours that were out there.

The truth is that even with this unbelievable mix up it is impossible for anyone to dump Waste Food at a Legal Landfill site, as under E.U. and Irish legislation and their licensing controls Food waste is not permitted.

It must be processed as in composted and may then be landfilled, but at a cost to its supplier. The Video you are about to see suggests that the truck did not have separate compartments for the waste, in fact it did just the people feeding the truck well, judge for yourself,

But Food Waste has no value it’s just waste so why bother separating it?2016-11-14T16:35:12+00:00

Food waste both Domestic and Commercial is a valuable commodity believe it or not. If collected separately it is in great demand as Nutrient rich Compost to condition the soil and reduce or eliminate our dependency on Petro Chemical derived Fertilizers. However when it is not collected separately and mixed in with the general waste the Food Waste fraction is still composted but can not be used in agriculture having been contaminated, has a much lower commercial value and can only be used to reclaim lands and for parks. See Vertal’s MBT plant in the UK on this video as it deals with mixed waste, but the comments made on your Waste Food being used to grow your next meal, relates only to separated Waste Food composting not this MBT type.

But don’t Food Waste treatment centres stink?2016-11-14T16:35:12+00:00

Not modern plants, watch this video on an In-Vessel plant in the city of Ontario in Canada where it handles 60,000 Ton’s of Food Waste annually, with room to expand on that figure.

Are there any domestic High Temperature and Rodent proof composter machines here in Ireland?2016-11-14T16:35:11+00:00

Yes an Irish company in Thurles Bio Finch import domestic units in various sizes. This video of the same unit they sell which looks like a raffle ticket rotating drum, fully sealed, insulated, gets up to 70degrees and is fully rodent proof.

Are there any Waste Food compost machines for a Hospital or University here in Ireland?2016-11-14T16:35:11+00:00

Yes an Irish company Bio Finch based in Thurles import a unit from Sweden that can compost food waste on site in large volumes quickly.

Using a machine such as this for a Hospital, University, or Prison with grounds attached that can make use of the resulting compost, as the compost must not leave the site under Dept of Environment regs, eliminates the costly collection and removal of Food Waste from the site by refuse collectors. If the site grows some or all of its own food using the compost there is further value to be had and probably a job created for someone to tender to it all. Watch Video »

So if I just use my Black bin and don’t bother with the Brown bin what difference will it make?2016-11-14T16:35:11+00:00

It will make a difference to your pocket as you pay more for the Black bins collection.

Also as each bin is micro chipped a record of its use or lack of will be recorded by the Refuse Collection Company. A recording of non use by a household will be noted and can be forwarded to the Councils enforcement section, as it is now the responsibility of every household to prove that it is using the Brown bin when issued with one, or prove the ability to home compost. Your Brown bin is your only means to control your refuse costs as here in Ireland County Councils have almost all pulled out of Refuse collection, and we are all at the mercy of Private collectors. Learn to use your Brown bin correctly, and don’t contaminate its contents e.g. hide rubbish inside the Brown bin, you will lose out in the long run if collectors refuse to collect Food Waste because of this. Your details will be noted and shared with other refuse collectors so moving collector will not make any difference. It will be reported to your local Council and enforcement officers will call to you and issue a fine. Use an Aerated Kitchen Caddy and Compostable liners and keep at least 30% of volume out of your Black bin and so save on the ever increasing rates that will be applied to you for its collection. In addition you are protecting the jobs in the Composting industry and helping to create even more, it could be your job.

Brown bin collection tariffs differ from free to a charge why?2015-11-12T17:43:11+00:00

Each County Council had its own way of charging for the Brown bin waste, and private companies in competition had to either mirror that charging system or charge less to compete with the councils for customers.

Fingal sensibly offered the Brown bin collection for free in order to encourage households to use it, but did charge a management fee which was accepted as a indirect charge for the Brown bins collection.

The benefit of this system was that households put the Brown bin out for collection regularly every 2 weeks as was free.

One private collector offered a flat rate with no management charge so its customers had no incentive to use the Brown bin, and the company did not have to deal with huge amounts of segregated Food Waste as a result.

This system suited household that did not want the inconvenience of separating Food Waste and depositing it into their Black bin sealed up in Plastic bags reduced the problem with odours, and flies.

Brown Bin Rescue has witnessed the success of free Brown bin scheme in action in Fingal for many years, fully supports it and will continue to campaign for this to be the national standard.

So what happens to Food Waste in Black bins, does it go straight to landfill?2016-11-14T16:35:11+00:00

No not anymore E.U. regulations now require all Refuse Collectors / Landfill Operators treat Black bin waste before it is Land-filled to stop Methane production e.g. smells at landfill site and stop the water it produces ‘Leachate’ from damaging the Environment and our water table. This process is known as M.B.T. (Mechanical Biological Treatment). Remember there is very little that can not be recycled from your Black bin, and the fraction that cant is processed and sold abroad as fuel for Cement kilns.

Food waste is best separated at source e.g. in your Kitchen in an Aerated caddy, and is then a very sought after product. Watch this video of an MBT plant in the U.K. click on main video presented to you for a real view MBT in action, and then scroll down to the end of the page and click on the video of the guy with the Red hard hat on, for a good view and commentary on a MBT and composting plant. The comment at the end that the MBT processed compost can be used for farming is incorrect as it can only be used for land reclamation.

Only Brown bin Food Waste separately collected and composted can be used in Agriculture, it’s just a reporter getting it wrong as backed up by the company when we contacted them over it, but he meant well.

So Food Waste is really now a Resource?2015-11-12T17:43:11+00:00

That’s it exactly, what was once viewed as waste and considered to have no value is now ring fenced under the new National Waste Regulations of July 25th 2012 named ‘A Resource Opportunity’, which guarantees Food Waste will now be looked upon and treated as a valuable national resource.

Are our MEP’s (Members of Europen Parliament) active in highlighting this issue?2016-11-14T16:35:10+00:00

MEP Maireaid McGuinnessYes in fact on February the 8th 2012 MEP Maireaid McGuinness phoned me in the morning from Brussels in response to my e-mail to her asking her to assist us with our campaign here on creating awareness on Food Waste.

Her ministry is Farming not waste but accepted that it would affect Farming if legislation was passed permitting Food Waste compost to be used nationwide.

She was delighted that we were taking this initiative and was thrilled that we were so far ahead of the curve as she put it, and agreed to keep us posted on developments on the MEP’s call for 2014 to be the fight against Food Waste in Europe.

Can Food Waste be avoided or reduced?2016-11-14T16:35:10+00:00

Yes below are figures from the European Commission outlining how severe the problem is and what sector is mostly to blame, so not surprisingly its us the Households owners and renters.

Food wastage figures

Current wastage in EU27: 89 million tonnes per annum (i.e. 179 kg per capita)

Projection for 2020 (if no action is taken): 126 million tonnes (i.e. a 40% increase)

Responsibility for food waste:

  • Households: 42% (60% of which is avoidable)
  • Manufacturers: 39%
  • Retailers: 5%
  • Catering sector: 14%

(Source: European Commission) And Ray Colgan RTE’s European Parliament Reporter our source, thanks Ray. Full report here.

Yes of course it can be and it is created by bad storage, over estimation of quantity cooked, not being sold on time, excessive purchases at supermarkets when not using a list etc etc. With careful planning of food purchases with a list, planning of daily weekly meals and correct storage Food Waste quantities can be seriously reduced.

Our Focus On Food Waste Tab gives you practical ideas to help you devise such a plan and save you a lot over a year. The European Parliament in 2012 asked the European Union to devise methods to REDUCE the PRODUCTION of Food Waste, not its treatment as waste and pointed to education of the household’s in its reduction as the key to its success. We at Brown Bin Rescue are happy to be providing this education to both the households that have Brown bins and to those that have yet to get them.

Is there sufficient Infrastructure in place to deal with all this diverted Food Waste?2016-11-14T16:35:10+00:00

At present we have sufficient capacity to compost the Food Waste that is generated in the selected areas it was rolled out in. Providing infrastructure to deal with the Food Waste from the further roll out Nationwide will be part of the logistical challenge but very doable and will create much needed employment especially in construction. In the North of Ireland since the Renewable Obligations Certificates were launched, there have been nearly 80 planning applications to build mostly on farm Anaerobic Digestion plants. Of these applications approximately 30 have received full planning permission to date. These Anaerobic Digestion plants can take in Food Waste locally and turn it into Electricity to sell back into the National Grid. The U.K has circa 70 of these plants whereas in Germany there are over 7000 dotted all over the country. Compost is still the end product to be used for landscaping and farming locally. Watch this video link to see the process.

The Brown bin spray Enviro – Chem how does it work and is it safe?2016-11-14T16:35:10+00:00

Enviro-Chem CX comes under the category of  POCA (Preventative Odour Control Agent) which eliminates smelly odours by reducing the level of odour – causing compounds.

It prevents and eliminates offensive odours by reacting with large molecules containing Nitrogen and or Sulphur ( the nasty smelling agents ), unlike other masking agent products that simply replace a bad odour with a temporary acceptable one.

It is used widely in Compost Treatment facilities all over Europe for effective preventative odour control. In fact when used regularly on the decomposing compost in a commercial facility, the percentage of nutrient loss is actually reduced considerably so better quality compost.

Click onto Nova-Q’s web site for further evidence of its safe and widespread use.

Why do the liners always become damp and stick to the bins walls?2016-11-14T16:35:10+00:00

The compostable liner although it looks and feels like plastic its not, it is made from corn starch which allows it to breathe.

The Brown bin even with vent holes which some bins have still does not allow sufficient air in, so the compostable liner is doing its job by breathing but the moist air from it is then trapped, and so the bins walls get damp and the liner sticks to them.

This is why the Aerated Kitchen caddy from Brown Bin Rescue does not create any foul odours, as it allows the corn starch liner to breathe.

Why do my Brown Bin Liners sometimes tear along the walls?2015-11-12T17:43:12+00:00

The liner is just that a liner, it is not designed to support any weight. So when you fit your liner to an empty Brown bin, if you allow too much of the liner to extend over the lip of the bin then the liner now shortened, will not reach the bottom of the bin.

As you fill up your bin the waste does not fall to the bottom of the bin but instead it is supported by the suspended liner, which then stretches with the weight of the waste, and causes the liner to tear under the strain.

So when fitting your bin liner first open it between your thumbs, and using your two hands shake in the air to fully expand it.

Then allow the bag to rest on the bottom of the bin, and just leave the minimal amount of an overlap at the lip of the bin and it will not tear when weighed down with waste.

The Compostable bags feel like plastic so how can they break down?2016-11-14T16:35:10+00:00

Yes the Compostable bags do indeed feel like plastic and are manufactured in a similar way to plastic, but the essential difference is that Plant Starch a renewable resource is used, and this is what makes them break down in a specified time and return to Carbon Dioxide and Water. In fact plant starch is used to manufacture a huge range of Compostable products like Burger Boxes, spoons etc so all packaging for keeping your takeaway Hot can be Compostable. So all of the waste generated in a fast food outlet, even straws if were sourced as Compostable products could be put in with the waste food bin, even from the bins on the customer side of the outlets floor area. Here are two links to sites that explain the structure of plant starch, the first is an Australian company and the second a USA site will expand to show you the full range of products available.

This next USA link is to a company called World Centric which supplies Fair Trade Compostable products.

What happens if I am not at home when my Brown bin order arrives?2015-11-12T17:43:12+00:00

Brown Bin Rescue uses the services of An Post to deliver its products Nationwide. If the courier is unable to get an answer from the premises and so unable to deliver the package, a note will be put through your door to advise you of the earlier attempt. The package will stay at your local Post Office depot printed on the docket for a period stated on the docket with contact numbers etc. After that it will be returned to Bin Rescue where upon we will try to make contact with you for further instructions.

Brown Bin wash, is it messy?2016-11-14T16:35:09+00:00

No not at all it is all done inside a purpose built and County Council Certified mobile unit. The Bin Wash mobile unit will lift and wash out any Brown Bin, that has been just emptied by a refuse collector. Even if the bin has nasty Gunge stuck to its floor, and believe me most Brown Bin’s have, it will be washed out leaving you with a shiny good as new Brown Bin, and the Sludge stays in the mobile unit so no mess is left behind. If you live in a pay by weight lift area, that Gunge will be charged to you every time it is lifted. Avoid rogue operators offering this service with just a cold water power hose, as often the contents of the bin are just washed into a street surface Shore, attracts vermin, spreads infection especially with children playing, and a highly illegal practice attracting large fines from Local Councils if reported. See Wheelie Clean in action cleaning a Green bin but its all the same.

How do I order a bin wash?2016-11-14T16:35:09+00:00

Simply click Click Here & fill in all the details requested, especially your bin lift date. will then be in contact with you directly to organise a suitable time to have your bin / bins washed. The price quoted will depend on where you reside and quantity of bins required to clean.

If you can group a few neighbours together who share the same bin empty date, this would be the most economical approach.  If you’re a bit shy but know there are a lot of people in your area that need this service especially if your bin has to be placed near your home and smells, then contact Brown Bin Rescue and request a home call. Look forward to hear from you.

What can the Council do if I don’t use the Brown bin?2016-11-14T16:35:09+00:00

Under the new Department of the Environment legislation of July 25th 2012 it is now up to the householder to prove that they either use a Brown bin kerbside service or have the mechanism in place to home compost, and this is to help combat illegal fly tipping and back yard burning of waste. A team of inspectors will be assigned to monitor this compliance with FPN’s or Fixed Penalty Notices of circa €45 per offence imposed for infringement of the laws. See new National Waste Document A Resource Opportunity and download under Latest News.

What cant I put into my Brown bin?2015-11-12T17:43:12+00:00

See ‘My Bin’ Tab on the Home page and ‘What do I put into My Brown bin’ drop down for a full list of what is and is not allowed to be put into your Brown bin. Just think of your Lined Brown bin and Lined Aerated Kitchen Caddy as Waste Food and Food Soiled paper/ cardboard magnets.

Do I always have to use a Brown Bin liner and the Aerated caddy bin liner?2016-11-14T16:35:09+00:00

No depending on your property if you do not have a lawn or plants then you probably will not need Brown bin liners. Depositing Compostable bags of kitchen waste only into your Brown bin ensures it does not become dirty from food material sticking to its inner surface. However if your household uses a lot of fresh vegetables especially Cabbage, then using a Brown bin liner allows you to deposit large leafy items directly into your bin.

If you do have a garden then buying just 6 months supply of liners for your Spring to Autumn garden waste along with your Kitchen Caddy Liners will keep your Brown bin free from Green waste sticking to it, or worse still Composting in it and stinking to high heaven. If the budget stretches buying 12 months supply of liners will give your bin all year round protection.

How can I keep my Brown Bin clean after it has been professionally washed by Wheelie Clean?2016-11-14T16:35:09+00:00

Watch this Youtube video, it will show you how using a kettle of Boiling water and with care, you can keep your bin clean after its contents have been tipped into the Waste Food truck. This Video is intended for those who do not have Green waste to put in their Brown bin, and just have Kitchen Food Waste.

Where you have both Kitchen Food Waste, Green Waste and kids likely to put their Apple butts etc into the Brown bin while passing it, then yes you do need to use a Brown bin liner to keep it clean.

Do I apply for this service to save on refuse charges if no local collector offers it to me?2015-11-12T17:43:13+00:00

It will take time to deal with the logistics of such a huge undertaking by the Department, and as the refuse collectors licence comes up for renewal, it will be a condition that the Brown bin be rolled out by them to retain and renew their licence. However we have provided you with a letter which you can download, print and having filled in your details send it to the Minister asking when it is expected that your area will be provided with the service. This can be repeated as often as you wish especially if there is a change of Government, to keep the pressure on the Department to complete the roll out, and make them aware of any problematic areas of its delivery.

Download your letter and for your friends and neighbours

Are Brown bins really going to be rolled out Nationwide?2016-11-14T16:35:08+00:00

Phil Hogan TDYes resulting from the releasing of the National Waste document ‘A Resource Opportunity‘ on July 25th 2012 by the then Minister of the  Department of the Environment,Community, & Local Government Mr Phil Hogan T.D. all households within a defined populated area of 500 and above were to be issued with a kerbside Brown bin Food Waste service by 2016.

Pay By WeightCurrent Minister Alan Kelly’s planned introduction of Pay by Weight aimed at addressing his disgust with the refuse industries apparent Race to the Bottom, will not alone ensure that all domestic waste will be collected and billed by weight as opposed to per bin collected, but that every household will receive a Brown bin as part of the operators license. Households that do not have space or are of such a design where a Wheelie bin cant be used will have to continue with a single clear bag for all waste.

Brown Bin Rescue are currently working on a project that hopefully will provide these households with a strong clear compostable bag so that they too can segregate their food waste from their one bag of mixed waste and pay less as a result. We will keep you informed of developments in this very exciting project going forward 13-02-2015.

At Brown Bin Rescue we supply you the householder with the compost bags or compostable bags or compostable bin liners that you need to line your Brown or Bio bins, even wheelie bin liners which are a very thin plastic film not as heavy as black sacks, which act as a bin liner or bin liners to line your rubbish bin or black bin even your green bins often referred to as a wheelie bin or wheelie bins. We now provide a new 13 litre Paper bag or kitchen caddy paper bag or aerated kitchen caddy paper bag, totally compostable and made from a renewable resource. Householders struggle with recycling and with their recycling bins or household bins and waste bins, not to mention kitchen bins, pedal bins and swing bins. Then trying to source and understand the correct pedal bin liners or swing bin liners is further made confusing with terms such as biodegradable bags, bio bag, degradable bin liners and even biodegradable bin liners. Then the question is are biodegradable bin bags, poly bags, bio bag, plastic bags, biodegradable plastic, even degradable bags are they the same as Compostable liners? The answer of course is No! Only Compostable liners / bags can be used in a Brown bin or kitchen caddy. So whether you are composting at home with garden waste and household food waste to make your own compost, or prefer to use a contractors compost bins, the job is made much easier using our Aerated kitchen caddy or compost caddy along with your lined Brown bin. You are happy knowing you are doing your bit for recycling and the environment. Irish Greensax brand new Compostable dog poop bags a first in Ireland permitting dog poop to be put into a Brown Bin, yep most if not all refuse collectors permit domestic levels of dog poop in Brown bins now. Finally to get your bins wheelie clean we have a partner offering wheelie bin cleaning, making wheelie bin storage cleaner and healthier especially when kept in close proximity to your home.

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