Keeping it green and clean: recycling rules in Dublin

Recycling rules in Dublin are hard to navigate. What can you recycle at home versus what goes to a centre, versus what’s not recycling at all? The list goes on and on. Here at Babylon we want to help you keep things clean and green with our guide to recycling rules in Dublin.


Recycling rules in Dublin can be confusing. What may be acceptable to recycle in your home country may be wildly different from what is allowed here. What’s more, it can be difficult to locate information of the recycling rules, particularly when different waste management companies have different rules on what items they accept. For example, some plastics used to wrap fruits or vegetables may be acceptable for one company but not for others. In order to help you out with what can be the baffling bin collection in Dublin, here is Babylon Radio’s guide to recycling rules in Dublin.

Looking for ways to stay green this holiday season? Check out our guide on having a merry green Christmas!

How to prepare your recyclable items

It is very important to prepare your bottles, plastics, cans, etc. for recycling. Many waste management centres can’t recycle materials with food still on them. Be sure to rinse and dry all your recyclable food and drink containers before recycling. As well, things like cardboard boxes must be collapsed before they are put in the recycling.

What is Recyclable?

This depends on two things: whether the item is marked as recyclable and what the material of the item is. Recyclable plastics, glasses and metals will often be marked with three arrows in a triangle or circle to certify that they are recyclable.

What items you can recycle is also dependent on how you recycle your materials. There are multiple recycling options in Dublin, including bring banks, civic amenity sites, and recycling centres as well as kerbside collection. Each of these options has different rules and regulations on what recyclable materials they accept.

Bring banks

Bring banks are unstaffed collection points throughout the city for materials such as glass and textiles. You can find a local bring bank here.

Civic amenity sites

These sites are staffed sites with specific hours of operation. They are similar to bring banks but they take a much wider variety of items including:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic bottles
  • Glass bottles
  • Food tins
  • Textiles
  • Footwear
  • Electrical equipment
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Waste oil and DIY waste
  • Some also accept garden waste and christmas trees

Civic amenity centres tend to accept bulkier items than either recycling centres or bring banks. The staff at these sites can also offer advice about recycling in Dublin. Some even have home composting bins for sale. 

Recycling Centres

Similar to civic amenity centres, recycling centres are also staffed sites with specific hours of operation and accept similar items. The only difference is that they don’t tend to accept bulkier items. 

Kerbside Recycling

Known as ‘green bin’ collection, this is a waste management option that allows home pick up of recyclable items. What you can recycle at home differs what you are able to bring to a centre. Home recycling options include:

  • Paper and cardboard: letters, brochures, flattened cardboard boxes, egg cartons, toilet and kitchen roll tubes, newspapers, cartons for juice or milk (which have been rinsed and dried. Be careful when recycling takeaway containers like pizza boxes that may be difficult to clean fully).
  • Tins and cans (fully rinsed and dried): soup cans, pet food tins, drinks and food cans,etc. 
  • Aluminium foil may be recycled but it must be fully clean
  • Rigid plastic food and drink containers that are fully rinsed and dried. They should also carry the three arrow recycling symbol.

Items that cannot be recycled:

  • Crystal glass
  • Pyrex
  • Television tubes
  • Opal bottles (glass bottles where there is a large amount of foil is glued to the bottle)
  • Car windscreens
  • Porcelain
  • Pottery
  • Stones
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Laminated/waxed paper cups

For more information on kerbside recycling in your area, click here. If you’re still unsure of what household items can be recycled via kerbside pick up, visit

While Dublin City Council offer services to find local recycling centres, the information tends to be dense and the websites hard to navigate. is a much more direct means of finding your local recycling centres. 

 Hazardous waste

There are a large number of household products are potentially harmful to the environment and are therefore not suitable for home recycling. These items include aerosols, bulbs and fluorescent tubes, polishes, adhesives, household cleaners, drain cleaners, solvents, weedkillers, and fertilizers. Some of these items can be brought to civic amenity centres, but be sure to call and ask ahead.

When disposing of medical waste like medicines, pharmaceutical drugs, medical waste, and pharmaceutical containers, these can be returned to your local pharmacy where they will be disposed of properly. 



Emma Grove
Emma Grove

Emma is a Californian-native, a food lover, and a Journalist for Babylon Radio. With a MA(Hons) from the University of Glasgow, Emma is interested in everything musical and cultural going on in Ireland!

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