In just one day, Irish households generate a staggering 7,500 tons of rubbish. We throw away food to the value of  €3 million, flush away 400 million litres of water, and dispose of 500,000 coffee cups, every day.

Tonight on RTÉ One, One Day: How Ireland Cleans Up will follow a typical day for those who clean up our country, on our behalf.

Ryan-Gould-Jonathan-Dennehy-and-Ivan-Hegarty-who-drive-a-Country-Clean-bin-lorry-in-Cork
Ryan Gould, Jonathan Dennehy and Ivan Hegarty who drive a Country Clean bin lorry in Cork

The documentary will follow bin lorry drivers in Cork and housekeepers in Limerick who are busy from the early hours while, in Dublin, we'll get the chance to see a 'Waste To Energy' Incinerator that runs 24/7.

In the afternoon, shift supervisor Robert Andrews brings the camera crew around the vast tipping hall where 100 tucks per day offload waste from around Dublin.

"Working in places like this really opens your eyes to the amount of waste we produce in the country," he says.

David-Duff-of-Thorntons-Recycling-Depot-in-Dublin
David Duff of Thorntons Recycling Depot in Dublin

Finally, we'll get a look inside Thorntons Recycling Depot where workers on the conveyor belt are sifting through tons of green bin waste to remove the nappies, food and other rubbish that is not suitable for recycling.

David Duff of Thorntons says: "That’s not a mistake. Some people put food in the green bin to cut down on costs and then someone has to hand-pick through it. People are not aware of the human involvement in waste"

Do you know what can go in the recycling bin? Check out our handy list, here.

plastic bottles
In one day 220,000 plastic bottles of water are consumed

Some extra facts on waste in Ireland ….

  • In one day we throw away one million nappies
  • In one day we throw away 500,000 disposable coffee cups
  • In one day we throw away food waste to the value of over €3 million
  • In one day we use over 1.5 million aluminium cans
  • In one day 220,000 plastic bottles of water are consumed
  • In one day we wash 700,000 machine loads of clothes
  • In one day we spend €360,000 on house-hold cleaning products
  • In one day we use 519, 000 toilet rolls

One Day: How Ireland Cleans Up airs on Monday 14th January 2019 at 9:35pm on RTÉ One