Separating food waste is a positive climate action that we can all make

At the recent launch of the National Food Waste Recycling week (June 5th to 11th) were Louis Duffy, Cork County Council Director of Service - Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Services; Valerie O’Sullivan, CCC Divisional Manager – South Cork, and Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Danny Collins. (Picture: Diane Cusack)

Now in its second year, National Food Waste Recycling Week will run from June 5th until 11th and will provide practical advice (through a number of local talks), with easy-to-follow hints and tips, to encourage everyone to recycle more of their food waste.

As part of the campaign, managed by, Cork County Council will host exhibitions and talks in Council libraries in Fermoy and Mallow on Tuesday, 6th June; in Youghal and Cobh on Wednesday, 7th June and then in Bandon and Skibbereen on Thursday, 8th June.

To assist people in separating their food waste, a supply of food waste caddies, each with a starter pack of caddy liners and an information leaflet, will also be available to the public at all libraries and mobile libraries across the county throughout the week-long campaign subject to availability.

In Ireland, we waste about 800,000 tonnes of food each year, according to current best estimates.  Growing, processing and transporting food uses a huge amount of resources, such as land, water, energy and fertiliser. If food is wasted, these resources are wasted too. The EPA estimates that food waste costs the average Irish household about €60 per month or €700 per year.

The overall aim of the campaign is to generate awareness of the role of food waste recycling in diverting this valuable resource from landfill and allowing it to be transformed into renewable energy and fertilisers for horticulture and agriculture use in Ireland. This will have a lasting impact as it will create green jobs now and into the future. The campaign is being managed by Ireland’s three regional waste management planning offices and funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

Properly recycled food waste can be used to produce energy through anaerobic digestion and to produce clean, organic fertiliser.


From January 1st, 2024, under new national legislation to be introduced later this year all waste management companies will be obliged to provide food waste recycling bins for compostable material which will radically improve Ireland’s management of food waste. This campaign is focused on continuing to educate people on what can be put into their food waste recycling bin.

It will highlight the importance of separating waste food from its packaging to ensure we reduce contamination and achieve high quality recycling. This is good for the Irish environment as it is a closed production process and supports our circular economy.”

Events will be held nationwide to highlight National Food Waste Recycling Week 2023, supported by local authorities, the Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland (Cré) and members of the Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA).

For more details on Food Waste Recycling Week activities in Cork County, visit and for more information on the National Food Waste Recycling Week 2023 programme, visit