June 2023

Smart Ways To Manage Your Food Waste Disposal

food waste management

Food waste management and disposal is a pressing issue that requires our immediate attention. With millions of tons of food discarded each year, food waste not only impacts our environment but also poses a significant economic and social challenge.

Food waste can be transformed into renewable energy and fertilisers for agricultural use. Every tonne of food waste recycled instead of ending up in landfills can prevent about half a tonne of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. (Source: mywaste.ie)

At Barna Recycling, we support sustainability initiatives and strive to impact the planet positively. In this blog, we want to encourage and help all our customers to implement smarter, better ways to manage food waste, helping households save money and reduce environmental impact.


Types of Food Waste

According to the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE), there are three types of food waste thrown out:

  • 60% is Avoidable food waste– Plate scrapings, leftovers, gone off fruit and veg and passed its date perishables.
  • 20 % is Potentially Avoidable food waste – things like bread crusts, and potato skins.
  • 20% is Unavoidable food waste– general rubbish such as banana skins, eggshells, and chicken bones.

Being mindful of the food we waste and making minor changes to how we manage our food daily can help make a massive difference to our overall food waste and manage carbon emissions.


Best Ways To Minimise And Dispose Of Food Waste

It is possible to implement strategies to minimise waste, support sustainable practices, and make a positive impact on our environment and communities. Below we have outlined some of Barna Recycling’s top tips to help your household minimise and dispose of food waste more effectively.

couple separating food waste

Having an organic/food waste bin in your kitchen makes it easier to manage your food waste. You can use this bin to dispose of vegetable peels, eggshells, bones, leftover seeds, etc. while cooking and after. This bin, once full, can be emptied into your Brown Barna Recycling Bin. Food waste in the brown bin gets treated and turned into compost.

Paying attention to food waste – Many of us repeatedly waste the same foods. If you’re putting food in the bin, take a second to ask yourself – ‘Why did this end up as waste?’ once you know what foods you are wasting the most and why, you can identify simple actions you can take to avoid food waste.

Try to reuse and re-consume as much as possible – As much as possible, try not to toss out any leftover food in good condition. You can always store that leftover lasagne you had for dinner in the fridge and reheat it again for lunch the next day.

Get Creative – Try making an alternative dish with food almost near its expiry date. For example: Use leftover fruit to bake buns, cakes, crumbles, or other desserts. Bread that is going stale can be used for French toast, to make bread and butter pudding or as croutons for soup or salad. You can make hash browns or patties with leftover mashed potatoes. Explore some fantastic recipes here. We promise it won’t be long until you have a new favourite dinner!

Plan your meals – Creating a meal plan for the week and meal prepping in advance can help you save time and get the most out of your produce.

Shopping Smart – Be sure to check your fridge and cupboards in advance and list all the items you need before heading to the supermarket for your weekly or monthly grocery haul beforehand. Sticking to a list will ensure you effectively manage waste by reducing consumption and buying less.

Home Composting – Composting at home is one of the best methods to dispose of food waste. As compost is rich in nutrients and great for your garden, shrubs, or even indoor plants. It is an excellent way to get the final use of your leftover food. You can read our helpful composting guide here.


Benefits Of Having a Specific Bin For Food Waste Disposal

Having a separate bin for food and organic waste (brown bin) is highly recommended for individuals and households. Using a kitchen top caddy lined with a compostable liner is one of the most effective ways to manage food waste efficiently, offering many benefits, such as:

  • It helps you be more conscious of food waste.
  • Minimises the amount of food waste created.
  • The food waste in the brown bin can be composted to be used as high-quality fertiliser for the soil.
  • The food waste can also be processed into renewable energy, such as biogas which can be used to generate electricity.
  • Reduces your overall carbon footprint and saves money.


Barna Recycling’s Brown Bin for Food & Organic Waste

The Barna Recycling Brown Bin is specially designed for kitchen and organic waste. The waste in this bin is taken to Barna Recycling’s purpose-built composting facility, with the capacity to manage 40,000 tonnes of organic waste annually. All the waste is processed into compost for use as a natural, high-quality fertiliser for use by farmers and horticulturalists.


Managing Your Food Waste Disposal Correctly

Not sure about what’s considered food waste or what can go in the brown bin? Here’s a list for you to manage food waste disposal correctly.


What Can Go into My Brown Bin?

  • Food Waste (Meat, Fish & Poultry cooked & uncooked)
  • Leftover food
  • Bread & Cereals
  • All types of Pasta/Rice/Noodles
  • Coffee Grounds and Filters
  • Dairy – Cheese & Yogurts
  • Fruit & Vegetables (Rotten & Peels)
  • Tea Bags/ Tea Leaves
  • Egg Shells, Paper Towels/Napkins
  • Organic Garden Waste


What Cannot Go into My Brown Bin?

  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Cans
  • Clothes & textiles
  • Oils
  • Plastic Containers, wrappers, and bags
  • Nappies


View the complete list of items that can and cannot be put into your Brown Barna Recycling Bin. For more information on reducing your food waste, contact a member of our team on 091 771619.