Frequently asked questions

What is the Council’s recycling scheme?

Only non-recyclable waste items must be placed in your grey bin.

All food waste must be disposed of in your green or brown bin. This includes raw and cooked food, vegetables and meat (including bones) leftovers and plate scrapings, vegetable peelings, breads and pastries and out of date food. Packaging must be removed.

All glass bottles and jars (of every shape, size and colour) must now be placed in a glass collection box. They must no longer be placed in the grey bin.

A

ll recyclable paper/card, plastics and metals must be placed in the blue bin for collection every two weeks. The range of recyclable waste items that must now go into the blue bin has been greatly expanded – please follow the link https://www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/images/assets/Bin_Collection_Letter_Dec2017_v3_1.pdf or download the free Bin-ovation recycling app for full details.

Why has the Council banning recyclable waste from grey bins?

Recycling our waste:

  • is a legal requirement
  • saves ratepayers large amounts of money in landfill tax
  • is good for the environment
  • helps make our Borough a place to be proud of.
Apart from the monetary issue, why is it important to place my recyclable material in the blue bin, and my glass in the collection box provided?

Material collected in the blue bin and glass caddy is recycled into new products. This helps to reduce the demand for raw materials that are often environmentally damaging to obtain, leading to deforestation and mining pollution.

Recycling companies also provide local employment and investment in Northern Ireland.

Why can we just not put glass into the blue bin along with the other recyclable material?

When glass is collected in a co-mingled collection it will inevitably break, meaning that glass fragments will be found throughout the other materials such as paper and card even once they are separated out.

U

nder current contracts for our recyclable material, glass fragments greatly reduce the value of the material sent for recycling as processors must put more expensive measures in place to ensure there are no glass particles left to contaminate materials such as paper, plastic and metals.

What about the cost of recycling all this waste? Won’t my rates bill rise?

It actually costs approximately half as much to recycle your waste compared to the cost of landfilling it, because the government charges the Council a hefty landfill tax that increases year on year.

The money saved by recycling waste has already been used to help keep rates bills down and to invest in new and better community services and will continue to do so through the Recycling Community Investment Fund (RCIF).

What is the Recycling Community Investment Fund (RCIF)?

The RCIF was established in 2016 using money saved through AND residents recycling more waste. The Fund (£200K) is being used to finance a variety of environmental projects across education, community and environment which will directly benefit local communities.

In 2017/18 these have included the Live Here Love Here grants scheme, installation of Seabins in Bangor Marine, the CLEAR schools environmental engagement project and the introduction of 5-minute beach clean boards at some of the Borough’s tourist hot spots.

Where can I find out my collection schedule?

You can find the collection schedule for your address at: http://www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/resident/bins-and-recycling/bin-collection-dates or download our free recycling app, just search for ‘Bin-ovation’ in the Apple Store or Google Play.

Can I get an additional bin/box?
What type of waste must I put in my grey bin?

Waste that is not collected through the Council’s recycling service or which cannot be recycled at Household Recycling Centres or bring banks.

What will happen if I put recyclables into my grey bin?

Council staff will be checking grey bins to ensure that recyclable materials, including food waste or glass hasn’t been placed in them. Where they find these materials in your grey bin rather than your blue, brown/green, or glass caddy, they will initially leave a sticker reminding you of the requirements.

If you continue to incorrectly place recyclable materials in your grey bin, we may then refuse to empty it.

What types of waste must I recycle in my blue bin?

In the blue bin you must place paper, (including plain envelopes), cardboard, food and drinks cans, aerosols, clean foil, plastic bottles, pot, tubs and trays and juice cartons.

What plastic recycling symbols are to be placed in the blue bin?

All plastic bottles, containers, tubs and trays should be placed in the blue bin. The symbols are relevant to some other councils collection, but not in Ards and North Down as our contract can accept them all.

What types of waste must I recycle in the brown/green bin?

In the brown bin you must place compostable garden waste, all food waste, cold ashes, shredded paper, pet waste and compostable animal bedding, as well as wet card and paper that cannot go into the blue bin.

What food waste should I put in the brown/green bin?

All food waste must be disposed of in your green or brown bin. This includes raw and cooked food, vegetables and meat (including bones) leftovers and plate scrapings, vegetable peelings, breads and pastries and out of date food. Packaging must be removed.

Why does the council ban food waste from grey bins?

There is a law introduced which states councils must collect food waste separately from other waste.

Apart from the legal requirement, why is it important to put food waste in the green or brown bins?

We send the food waste we collect for recycling to make a garden compost product. If food waste goes to landfill, it rots and produces gases that are very harmful to the environment.

What about food waste odour and pests?

We collect food waste bins every two weeks, so food waste doesn’t stay any longer in these bins than it would if placed in the grey bin. Food waste in green or brown bins doesn’t increase odours or pest problems compared to putting food waste in your grey bin.

Keep your bin lid tightly closed and you should not have any problems with pests.

Will my rates bill rise due to the cost of recycling my food waste?

Recycling food waste costs approximately half the amount of landfilling food waste because the government charges the council an expensive landfill tax.

Money saved by recycling food waste will:

  • help keep rates bills down
  • be invested in new and better community services through the RCIF
What about the mess caused by recycling food waste at home?

The council provides a free food waste caddy and also delivers a roll of 100 compostable food waste caddy liners to your home during the year. Use these to store your food waste separately in your kitchen or utility room and dispose of this in a mess-free way. When the caddy liner is full of food waste take it out of the caddy and drop it in the green or brown bin

Do I need a green and brown bin?

For your food waste, you can use either a green or brown bin. The same materials go in both bins for processing together at the same location to make compost. You will have received either a green or a brown bin not both.

What types of glass must I recycle?

It’s simple. All glass bottles and jars.

Can the glass bottle and jar lids stay on?

Yes, all lids can be kept on the glass bottles and jars.

How often do the glass collection boxes get collected?

The glass collection boxes will be collected every 4 weeks.

How do I present the box for collection?

Householders must leave the glass collection box at kerbside on the day of collection.

What if I live in an apartment?

All apartments will receive the same service. They will be looked at in a case by case basis as the project is introduced. Please contact us should you wish to discuss (0300 013 3333) and select option 3.

I’ve seen red bins, what are these for?

Red bins are communal glass bins for apartments.

Can I get an additional bin/box?
Where can I get more advice or help?

You can get more advice or help in one of three easy ways:

1. Download our free recycling app, just search for ‘Bin-ovation’ in the Apple Store or Google Play.

2. Email us at: recycling@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

3. Telephone us on 0300 013 3333 and select option 3.