07 Aug 2022

Limerick council accused of 'greenwashing' as questions emerge over rubbish put in recycling bins

Limerick council accused of 'greenwashing' as questions are raised over rubbish from recycling bins

Cllr Elisa O'Donovan has raised concerns about what happens to rubbish placed in public recyclable bins

LIMERICK City and County Council has been accused of ‘greenwashing’ by not following the correct procedures when handling recycled materials from public bins around the city.

The Council has been accused of accumulating all rubbish from the general and recycling bins in skips which then end up for “landfill or incineration” without being segregated.

Limerick City West and Social Democrats Councillor Elisa O’Donovan was the one to make the claims in a post on social media.

“Where does the rubbish in these recycling bins end up?” Ms O’Donovan stated adding that she submitted a formal question to the local authority in June. 

Ms O’Donovan went on to reveal that she was informed that all waste is accumulated in skips which ends up in landfill or incineration.

When contacted by Limerick Live, a council spokesperson stated that Panda Greenstar Waste Management collects all waste from a facility at Park Road where it is then brought to the recycling centre on the Dock Road.

"At the Dock Road recycling facility the waste is put through a process of Mechanical segregation where large items are removed for recycling, incineration and landfill depending on the nature of the item. The waste is then put through Magnetic segregation where metal items are removed for recycling," read a statement.

“Some of the remaining mixed-waste and recyclables would then be deflected to the Materials Recovery Facility in Cappagh. Here they are passed through an additional series of methods including eddy currents to remove aluminium and other light recyclables and laser optics to remove other recyclable items,” it added.

Finally, items are then graded for recycling, incineration or landfill.

The Council says it “and the licensed operator follow the regulations in relation to waste.”

Future awareness campaigns about what can be recycled are being planned as the council claims some of the litter being deposited in recycling bins is not recyclable and is contaminating items that are recyclable.

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