Archives Barna Recycling

Disposal of Waste Items

Christmas is now over, and the new year is well underway here at Barna and for all of our customers. According to the, two in five people say they began shopping online for the first time at the start of the pandemic. The five most popular online purchases are clothing, food for take-out and delivery, footwear, consumer electronics and home entertainment.

In this blog we look to help with the disposal of waste items, looking at how to maximise space in your household bins, how to reduce waste shopping and food waste recycling.

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Christmas Recycling and Upcycling Tips

The countdown is on for what will be a rather unique Christmas this year. Even Santa has had to go and get special permission to travel freely outside of the north pole!

Fear not though, as a global pandemic cannot take away all our festive cheer at this time of the year. While we all begin to rest and relax it is important to not forget about reducing, reusing, and recycling when it comes to Christmas waste. Christmas time is indeed a time for caring, sharing and giving, but many of us also follow the eat, drink and be merry guidelines. All of which leads to a seasonal increase in waste volumes. Many of us will increase our grocery shopping, we give and receive gifts, buy decorations and so on. That is why we want to share some of our tips on how to reuse, reduce and recycle at home this Christmas.

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What to do with confidential waste when working from home?

2020 has brought about many new challenges for us all. One of the most topical has been the switch to working from home and the discussion around this new norm going forward.

We have had several inquiries over the past few months about what our customers can do with confidential waste when working from home. Confidential waste refers to documents possessed by any company that can expose discrete information about suppliers, customers, or employees.

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How and why you should dispose of your waste

Hands up if you have been buying online more and more in recent months? Many of us have switched our shopping habits to buying our groceries, clothes, shoes, toys and more online. Products bought online can be heavily packed with cardboard boxes, plastics, paper, bubble wrap and foam.

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The difference between recycling and upcycling

Recycling has been a big buzz word for years now, across workplaces, schools and even in our own homes. With the European Union and Irish government encouraging us all to take better control of how we dispose of our waste, doing so more effectively and recycling the correct items.

Upcycling is a newer term and is gradually being used more often. You are most likely to hear it referred to in conversations around home furniture or clothing, but most items can be upcycled.

Benefits of Recycling and Upcycling

Upcycling is simply a different type of recycling. The main aim of both is to reduce the volume of waste materials being sent to landfill or recovery sites each year. Making for a greener environment.

The benefits include:

  • Save on energy resources
  • Reduces air pollution, water pollution & greenhouse gas emissions
  • Preserving natural materials such as wood, water, and minerals
  • Protecting wildlife and eco systems with reduced harvesting of raw materials
  • Job creation

What is the difference?

Upcycling is where you turn your waste items that are broken or no longer needed and improve their quality or create a new use for them. It is seen as a more sustainable solution and gives older items a new lease of life, ensuring their lifespans are extended.

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials such as plastic, paper, glass, and metals such as aluminium and steel into new materials and objects. This is dependant on individuals ensuring they have recycled the correct items and that recycling bins are not contaminated.

Should you choose upcycling over recycling?

Recycling is a responsible method of managing discarded waste materials, but it does require energy to break down these recyclable materials. Once these items have been processed and broken down, they are then sold onto manufacturers to create new products.

Whereas with upcycling there is no need for excess energy consumption, and it can be done at home, with few or no additional tools or costs. It also allows you to create one of a kind items, and who does not like to have something unique.

So, upcycling does appear to have the upper hand over recycling.

Upcycling Ideas

  • Books
    • Desk Organiser – All you have to do is take a stack of book pages, cut two circles, insert toilet role tubes, and use the circular spaces you have created to hold pens.
    • A Planter – Yes people are using old books for succulent plants. You simply open the book, hallow out the centre of the book, line it and get planting. The perfect accessory for a coffee table.
    • Picture Frame – Books can stand up on their own so why not make a unique picture frame. You can paint over a book or decorate it however you like. Simply cut out a ‘frame’ in the front cover and attach the picture to the inside of it.
    • Decoration – Take you favourite book, insert a piece of rope and hang your books from the ceiling to make a unique space for your home
  • Cd’s & DVD’s
    • Coasters – Decorate old disks into funky coasters.
    • Mosaic Style – You can easily create a mosaic style frame for pictures or mirrors, or you can even do so to flowerpots, candle holders, bird baths and more
    • Wardrobe divider – Create clear dividers for your summer and winter clothes by labelling a disk and inserting on the rail in your wardrobe.
    • Box- Upcycle an old wooden box by gluing broken pieces of cd’s to it, adding some texture.
  • Video & Cassette Tapes
    • Boxes/ holders – Create unique boxes or holders to hang on your office wall or sitting room.
    • Coffee Table – Some people have used their old video tapes to make unique coffee tables with storage.
    • They can be glued to create bookends.
    • Knitting – You can use these old tapes as a wool feeder while knitting to prevent tangling.

Managing Garden Waste

This month’s blog looks at how you can manage your larger garden waste such as garden furniture, storage containers, gardening tools, outdoor toys, and hazardous materials. As we are nearing the end of the summer months and school is due to recommence soon, we often find that Barna Recycling customers are looking to dispose of such garden items that are broken and no longer needed.

We had some fantastic summer sunshine in the earlier parts of the summer, which encouraged us to get outside and work on our gardens. Children also needed to be entertained during lockdown so new toys and garden gadgets were brought in to help keep them busy. Some of you may have had long serving garden tools and sheds that were due an upgrade and want to know for to recycle and or safely dispose of these large garden items.

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Safety Tips for Hiring a Skip

One of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways of disposing of large amounts of waste is by hiring a skip. At Barna Recycling, we deliver skips to households and businesses for a wide range of waste materials. There are some important aspects to consider when hiring a skip, such as the best place to put it and how to fill it safely. Whatever your reason for hiring a skip, please keep these important tips in mind!

Hiring the right skip for you:

It can be hard to know what size of skip you need as what looks like relatively small waste might take up a lot of room in a small skip. Likewise, for bulky waste, many people think they the need the largest skip possible, but often when these items are broken down the skip may not be full and not the best value for money. When phoning our customer service team to book a skip, they will help you establish what skip size you need. Alternatively we have developed this handy skip sizing guide to help you choose the right skip.

Best place to put a skip:

Try and avoid resting it on any dips or slopes as it may move once unbalanced due to the loading of waste materials. If you require the skip to be left on a main public road, please let us know as it is likely you will need a permit for this. As well as a permit the skip may require added safety equipment such as nets, doors, or signage. Once delivered, skips cannot be moved and is important that you do not attempt to move it.

What cannot go in a skip:

  • Hazardous Waste: The big rule that is often forgotten is that hazardous waste should not go in a skip. It can leak and contaminate other recyclable materials.
  • Asbestos: If you come across asbestos during a renovation project or a home clear out, this must be dealt with by a team of specialists and not put into a general skip.
  • Appliances: Other items that we find causes great confusion is around electrical items, especially large household items. Refrigerators, freezers, microwaves & cookers should not go in a skip but instead be brought to a recycling centre.
  • Oil or paint cans
  • Tyres
  • Solvents, fuels and batteries
  • Chemicals, flammable materials
  • Household waste: Such as food scraps, soiled nappies, and sanitary items.
  • Liquid Concrete

How to load it safely:

We recommend that you load heavier items first, putting lighter items on top. It is very difficult and unsafe to load heavy items when the skip is nearly full and there is an increased risk of injury in doing so. It is key to have an extra pair of hands when filling a skip, especially when dealing with large bulky items that may be heavy to lift by yourself. Smaller items or materials will naturally fill the spaces in and around these larger items and it is a more efficient way of filling the skip.

How to maximise space in the skip:

To maximise the space of your skip, make sure to have a good plan in place. Simply throwing everything into the skip without having a plan will result in wasting plenty of space. It can also waste time as you may have to take items out to ‘rebuild’ your skip. If you are working as a team of people, make sure everyone filling the skips knows the plan.

Where possible have the items lined up in the order that they need to go in the skip. For example, if you have dismantled a kitchen, you could place all the cupboard doors, shelving & unwanted timber first in line to be placed at the bottom of the skip. You could then have the bulkier items such as furniture, building blocks and other materials lined up and ready to be placed on top.

Break down large items like tree limbs down into smaller pieces, remove any arms and legs from furniture and dissemble old appliances where possible.

Ensure you’re distributing the weight as evenly as possible to reduce the risk of it tipping over once it’s full.

Our tips for maximising the space in the skip:

  • Break down furniture before loading it
  • Don’t leave gaps in between, try and fill gaps with smaller, lighter materials
  • Load all the flat items first, things like plywood, table tops etc
  • Put bulky items in after laying down the flat materials

Do not overfill the skip:

In the interest of everyone’s safety, it’s important that you do not overfill your skip. Something could fall out and injure you, or when it has been collected, items may dislodge during transport.

For health and safety reasons, overflowing skips cannot be removed and transported from your property to the Barna Recycling waste management facility. Skips should be filled to the top and no further. To avoid other parties from placing items for disposal into your skip Barna Recycling have a number of skips available with security lids.

To view the hiring process and some frequently asked questions, read this blog.

If you have any further questions on skip hire, don’t hesitate to contact a member of our skip hire team on 091 771619.

Barna Recycling offer a wide range of skips for hire across Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim.

What to do with: leftover food, garden waste, old clothing and glass bottles?

As restrictions are lifting and the promise of some summer sunshine in July approaches, we can finally begin to feel a small sense of normality come back into our lives.

As many of you will remain working at home for a while longer, we want to make sure we are helping and assisting our customers as best we can. Since lockdown began, you may have noticed an increase in the amount of waste being disposed of in your home and community. We know there has been great discussion among the Barna team about the increase in our food shopping. This has been noted around the country too, as people are searching for solutions to increased food waste.

According to the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE) there are 3 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, potato skins
  • 20% is Unavoidable food waste – general rubbish such as banana skins and chicken bones

Reducing your food waste is one area which all households can benefit from. It all adds up, less food waste equals less spend on food, which means more money to spend on the things you love.

The national programme on Food Waste Prevention in Ireland is  A helpful website providing tools for planning and shopping, storage & cooking, and composting your food waste.

Here at Barna Recycling we encourage our customers to think ‘ingredients’ not ‘leftovers’.

What can I do with leftover food?

  • Turn dinner into lunch
  • Use leftover fruit to bake buns, cakes, crumbles, or other desserts.
  • Make soup out of leftover vegetables
  • Left over Sunday roast meat? You can use it to make a pie
  • Portion and store – For example you can split large loafs of bread into more manageable portions, freezing the excess. Allowing you to defrost the required amount each time.
  • Bread that is going stale can be used for French toast, to make bread and butter pudding or as crotons for soup or salad.
  • Tomatoes can be blended with some herbs and spices to make a sauce for use in pasta dishes.
  • Leftover mashed potato can be made into hash browns or croquette potatoes.

Don’t have a favourite recipe? Click HERE and explore some amazing recipes. We promise it wont be long until you have a new favourite dinner!

To encourage the fight against food waste the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has put together this brochure for families.


Garden Waste

As there are whispers of a hot July coming just around the corner. More and more of us will be out gardening again. Have you ever wondered what your options are when it comes to disposing of grass and other garden materials?

Firstly, garden waste consists of leaves and flowers, grass and weeds, tree bark and pruned branches, clippings and twigs, home-grown fruit or vegetables. –

Your disposal options are:

  • Grass cycling – the natural recycling of grass by leaving grass clippings on the lawn when mowing. Once on the ground the grass clippings, which contain 80-85% water, decompose quickly returning valuable nutrients like nitrogen back into the soil.
  • Brown Bin – if you have a brown bin, you can use this to dispose of your garden waste.
  • Composting at Home – is a fantastic way to reduce the amount of weight in your bin and reuse in your garden for planting.
  • Civic amenity sites – garden waste can be brought into recycling centres at Ballinasloe, Cartrontroy Athlone and Carrowbrowne

For bigger garden projects, where you may be relaying your lawn, landscaping, cutting or removing hedging, you can always higher a skip. This will then be brought to Barna’s purpose built composting facility.

If you are considering starting to compost at home, here is a handy guide to get you started.

For more information about how to be greener in the garden and use less chemicals, you can find some great information here. This is extremely helpful in the fight to save our bees.

For those of you that may not know, one third of our bee species are threatened with extinction from Ireland. That is why the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan exists. This plan aims to get everyone coming together to try to create an Ireland where bees (Pollinators) can survive and thrive. You can learn more about the plan here.

Some simple tips to make you garden pollinator friendly include:

  • Cutting it less frequently to allow wildflowers to grow and provide food
  • Plant bee friendly flowers and herbs
  • Don’t use pesticides or chemicals and manually weed instead
  • Provide shelter such as earth banks, dry stone walls or bare soil for bee nesting


Clothing & Textiles


Since the easing of restrictions, we have noticed a lot of people have done home clear outs. More so wardrobe cleanouts.  With many customers calling us to discuss what their options were when it comes to disposing of and recycling clothing and textiles.

Here are our top tips:

  • We always encourage customers to re-use where possible, but some items will not be suitable for re-using or recycling. These items are best disposed of in a clothes bank. Where they will then be sent off for shredding and re-purposed, not for new clothing but for example furniture stuffing.
  • Unwanted clothes or other textiles that are in good condition can be donated to charity shops or given to friends and family. We’ve even had customers make pillows out of old clothing!
  • There are now several online platforms that allow you to swap or re-sell your clothing, such as Facebook Marketplace & Depop.
  • Civic Amenity Sites – clothes can be taken at recycling centres – see here

So, the next time you go to throw out clothing, remember to Swap, Donate or Recycle instead!


Bottle Banks


We want to remind our customers that all types of drinking cans, soft drinks and alcohol can be put into your blue recycling bin.

If you need to dispose of glass bottles, visit your nearest bottle bank, if they are full, please don’t leave your items on the ground. Take them home and call back another day or visit your local amenity site.

Some tips for bringing items to a bottle bank are:

  • Remove all caps and corks from bottles but do not place the caps in the Recycling bank – these can be put into your blue bin at home
  • There is no need to take the labels off when you are preparing your items for recycling
  • Always remember to wash out your bottles and jars and drink cans before recycling
  • Separate the different colours into the correct bins
  • Don’t put crockery or drinking glasses in bottle banks – as they have a high lead content and contaminate the glass recycling process leaving the whole load of glass unsuitable for recycling
  • Don’t dispose of steel food containers in bottle banks – as they are made up from different materials to those contained in aluminium drinks cans

If you would like any further information on what has been discussed in this month’s blog please get in touch with us on 091 771619.

An update on our household waste disposal strategy during Covid-19

Barna Recycling is committed towards taking all the necessary precautions possible to ensure a continued and uninterrupted flow in the provision of our services. We would like to let our customers know that our wheelie bin and skip services are still operating, and customers will be notified well in advance of any changes to our operations that may arise in the future. We would like to assure all our customers and employees that we are strictly following the HSE guidelines and doing the best we can to reduce any risks.

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Easter Colouring Competition

If you’re hearing…”I’m bored” being thrown around at home – here at Barna Recycling we have something to help!

Barna Recycling wish to announce our first ever – Home Schools Easter competition!

Download HERE:
Category 1 – Junior, Senior Infants & 1st Class – Download here
Category 2 – 2nd, 3rd & 4th Class – Download here
Category 3 – 5th & 6th Class – Download here
Category 4 – Special Category – Download here

We wanted to give kids a fun activity to work on during their time at home – so we have decided to go ahead with our annual Easter competition but with a few small changes.  

Feel free to email this onto any family or friends with kids!
**You can post your entries or alternatively
you can photograph/ scan entries to **  
Stay safe everyone!

Unfortunately, by the time we get around to sending out your prizes – Easter eggs will no longer be in shops – but we’ll be sure to get something sweet in the post to our winners!

Best of luck and we hope you have fun!
Category 1 – Junior, Senior Infants & 1st Class – Download here
Category 2 – 2nd, 3rd & 4th Class – Download here
Category 3 – 5th & 6th Class – Download here
Category 4 – Special Category – Download here