Clarification: Proposed Change to Bin Collection Arrangements

Wednesday 12th February 2020

Following media coverage about a proposed change to bin collection arrangements locally we would like to provide the following clarifications for residents.

1. Council is considering a ‘trial’ change to the bin collection arrangements.
2. The trial would involve approximately 4,000 households (carefully selected to give a representative sample of different household types across the Borough).
3. The proposed trial would not start until September 2020 and run for at least six months.
4. All households placed on any trial agreed by the Council would be notified by letter and provided with full information on how the trial works before any changes are introduced. 
5. The proposed trial would be fully evaluated and reviewed by Council before any decisions were taken on wider roll out across the Borough. 

The proposed trial involves a change in the collection frequency for grey bins (containing waste destined for landfill), from fortnightly to four weekly – although homes with small children using disposable nappies would be able to request maintenance of a fortnightly grey bin collection service, and those already registered with the Council for special support with clinical/medical waste disposal would have those arrangements maintained.

Homes participating in the trial that require extra space to dispose of recyclable waste would be able to request:

- A larger blue bin to provide increased capacity for dry recyclables.
- An additional glass box to increase capacity for glass bottles and jars.

Smarter bin collection trial

In Ards and North Down over 80% of all routine household waste can be recyclable at the kerbside. We have a well-recognised rule that prohibits food waste, blue bin recyclable material or glass bottles/jars being put into grey bins for landfilling. As they strive to fully embrace these arrangements and help to deliver on our Borough’s recycling targets, residents are increasingly raising the need for different bin space/collections to assist them.

Under the current collection arrangements almost 60% of the household waste still being placed in our grey bins is recyclable waste that should have gone into one of the recycling bins or glass recycling box – needlessly ending up in a landfill site, costing ratepayers £Millions extra in landfill tax and adding to greenhouse gas emissions.

The trial focusses upon ‘rebalancing’ available recycling and landfill bin space. It will in fact offer an increase in overall bin capacity to homes over each 4 week collection cycle.