Calling Time on Waste: a publican's handbook to a leaner, greener cost base

Date released: May 14 2009

A new booklet to help publicans cut costs and improve their environmental performance was launched this week. The booklet, Calling Time on Waste: a publican’s handbook to a leaner, greener cost base, is the result of a collaboration between the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, Monaghan County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The handbook for publicans contains guidelines on how to save money by conserving water, saving energy and preventing waste. It is estimated that the average pub will save €1,000 per annum if the recommendations are followed, and it is hoped that up to 4,000 pubs throughout the country will introduce these measures in the coming months, delivering a collective saving of €0.5 million.


“The key message of the booklet is that if we don’t create waste in the first place we won’t have to pay the financial and environmental costs of dealing with it subsequently”, said Dr Gerry Byrne, EPA Programme Manager.


Dr Byrne added: “As the financial climate for all sectors looks more challenging, publicans can use the tips in this booklet to ensure that they are getting the best value for money spent on inputs, water and energy. Small innovations in business practice can lead to real savings in cost and improvements in environmental performance”.


Public houses in County Monaghan participated in an Environmental Programme organised by VFI Monaghan Branch and Monaghan County Council Environment Section. 

They achieved the following cost savings:


  • One pub changed all existing light bulbs to energy efficient CFLs resulting in a saving of €1,400, the equivalent to over 8000 kWh of electricity.
  • One bar saved €800 on its bi-monthly bills by installing energy efficient lighting and timers on fridges.
  • By turning off fridges in the “back room” during the week a publican saved €300 per annum.
  • By installing timers on their beer cooling system another pub saved €400 per annum on operating costs.
  • By installing a night meter a publican saved €600 per annum on his electricity charges.


  • By installing solenoid valves on urinals one bar saved €500 per annum on water charges.
  • By installing rain water harvesting another pub has saved €400 per annum in water charges.


  • By installing displacement devices and dual flush toilets a pub saved €150 per annum on waste charges.
  • By preventing waste at source a bar reduced the number of bin lifts per week from six to two, saving themselves €4,000 per annum on waste charges.
  • Another bar saved €1,200 per annum on waste charges by implementing a source segregation scheme and by re-tendering for waste management.

This project forms part of the Local Authority Prevention Demonstration (LAPD) programme, funded by the EPA’s National Waste Prevention Programme.

The booklet will be distributed to VFI members throughout the country.

Further information: Niamh Leahy, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)