Getting Rid of Rubbish in Ards and North Down Has Never ‘Bin’ Easier!

Tuesday 20th August 2019

Thanks to Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Recycling Community Investment Fund (RCIF), getting rid of your rubbish in the borough has never ‘bin’ easier!

The Mayor and two Council officers with the new Big Belly Bin at Kiltonga Nature Reserve

A range of new bins have been installed throughout Ards and North Down, including hi-tech ‘Big Belly’ solar bins at Newtownards’ Kiltonga Nature Reserve and Holywood’s Seapark Recreation Area, while new ‘ballot bins’ are located at a number of businesses and encourage the correct disposal of cigarette waste while adding a bit of fun to the process too.

The bins have been funded by the RCIF - a scheme which is powered by the recycling efforts of local residents and businesses. Thanks to an increased amount of recycling by the local community, almost £15m has been saved in landfill costs since the programme’s inception.

These savings have allowed the Council to create the RCIF which supports new and existing environmentally friendly initiatives such as the Big Belly bins and ballot bins.

The Big Belly bins are solar powered and thanks to their automatic compacting ability, they can store up to eight times more waste than the average bin. They also have the ability to send a message to the Council when they’re full and when they’re ready to be emptied.

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery, said:

“The bins are similar in size to normal bins but can hold up to eight times more rubbish and the automatic alerts result in less collections and lower collection costs. This allows the Council’s cleansing teams to work more efficiently and focus on other important tasks.”

Local businesses have also adopted new ballot bins which are designed to encourage the public to dispose of their cigarette waste with a smile on their face. Each bin poses a question with two possible answers, giving an opportunity for the public to ‘vote’ for their favourite answer.

New ballot bin presented to Premier Inn Bangor

The ballot bin initiative is in conjunction with Terracycle, a company that removes all cigarette waste from the businesses, free of charge. After businesses sign up to the scheme, they can print freepost labels which allows them to send the waste to Terracycle.

These are the latest initiatives in the Council’s drive to help residents and businesses dispose of waste correctly, increase recycling and make our borough a cleaner place to live.

“The Council is providing many opportunities to make it easy to recycle waste and it really does make a huge difference,” said Alderman Keery. “It costs half as much to recycle waste compared to the cost of sending it to landfill so the savings made as a result of our community’s recycling efforts have enabled the Council to fund many new projects such as the big belly bins and recycling bins.”

The new bins are complemented by other initiatives such as the Bin-ovation app, which has been downloaded by more than 25,000 people in the borough. It issues automatic bin collection day reminders to residents’ phones and tablets while also providing clear instructions on the type of waste that can go into each household bin.

The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store while businesses that wish to install ballot bins at their premises should contact 0300 013 3333 ext. 40485.

Ballot bin present to SERC Bangor

Photo (top): Stephen Addy (Council Head of Regulatory Services), Mayor of Ards and North Down Alderman Bill Keery, and Alastair Kerr (Council Borough Cleansing Services Manager) with a new Big Belly Bin at Kiltonga Nature Reserve.
Photo (middle): Paula Mitchell (Deputy Manager, Premier Inn) and Leanne Turnbull (Manager, Premier Inn) presented with a new ballot bin by Alison Curtis (Council Waste Resource and Contracts Manager)
Photo (bottom): SERC's Lizzie Buick (second from left) with students and staff alongside Ards and North Down Borough Council's Head of Regulatory Services, Stephen Addy.