New Online HRC Booking System

Due to planned construction work at Balloo Household Recycling Centre, residents will be unable to dispose of Rubble during the following dates: - Monday 12th February to Sunday 25th February (inclusive). 

We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

As a means of improving its Household Recycling Centre services, from Monday 4th September 2023, Ards and North Down Borough Council introduced a new online booking system for access to its nine Household Recycling Centres (HRCs). This means that access to any of the HRCs across the Borough is now only possible via a pre-booked slot.

Please use the button below to make your booking.

The new booking system allows residents to book up to two weeks in advance, or as little as 30 minutes before a visit.

You must provide:

  • email address
  • household address
  • type of transport being used to bring waste
  • vehicle registration
  • categories of waste you are bringing to the site

The standard booking process takes just 1-2 minutes.

*All personal information is held under GDPR requirements, is kept confidential and will be used to administer and manage the online booking system only. 

Please note:

  • Those without access to the internet can telephone 0300 013 3333 (option 4) Monday - Friday, 09:00 - 16:30 and bookings can be taken over the phone.
  • When you arrive at the site you need to bring your booking reference number and proof of residence in the Borough. A list of acceptable proofs and the reference number is included in the confirmation email you will receive after booking. 
  • At smaller sites, the range of recycling options will be more limited due to space restrictions. The booking system will direct you to the most appropriate HRC depending on the types of waste you wish to dispose of. 

Frequently asked questions

Why do I have to book my visit?

Ards and North Down Borough Council is under a statutory obligation to meet a recycling target of 70% by 2030, following the introduction of the Climate Change Act (NI) 2022. The recycling rate in our Borough is currently below 50%. BIG changes in our recycling habits will be needed to meet the new 70% target.

Managing access and increasing recycling through our Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) is KEY to this. The last published statistical report showed that we received 21% more waste per capita at our HRCs compared to the average for other NI councils and landfilled 57% more waste. The proportion of waste that was collected at our HRCs for recycling is 10% lower than the average for other councils. It is estimated that excessive HRC waste to landfill, over and above the NI council average, is currently leading to an extra c£0.5 million cost burden annually in our area. Our HRCs are therefore not working well for our residents either in terms of costs or recycling effectiveness.

Since December 2022, the Council has been operating new rules around access to our HRCs to help maximise the amount of household waste that is recycled. These are focussed upon restricting access to householders from outside the Borough and applying onsite recycling rules to all site users.

Booking your visit in advance through our new online system will help to protect the site for householders from Ards and North Down; improve your customer experience by minimising queues and site congestion and; reduce the costs of the service overall by reducing the amount of waste to landfill via our HRCs.

How do I book my slot?

You can access the booking system via Binovation or the Council’s website when the system goes live on 4 September.

You will be asked to provide.

• Email address

• Household address

• Type of transport being used to bring waste

• Vehicle registration

• Categories of waste you are bringing to the site.

The standard booking process takes just 1-2 minutes.

All personal information is kept confidential and will be used to administer and manage the online booking system.

Can I book a slot on my mobile phone or tablet?

Yes, the new booking system will work on mobile devices.

Can I book by telephone?

Yes, those without access to the internet can call 0300 013 3333 (Option 4) Monday – Friday. Lines will be open between 0900– 1630 and bookings can be taken over the phone.

Are lots of slots available?

Yes, multiple slots are available throughout the day at all sites. The system will control the number of users at any of time, helping to improve the customer experience by minimising queues and site congestion.

Are there any restrictions on the types of materials I can take to the HRC?

Details of the types of materials that you can bring to our various sites are in the Recycling Guide that was delivered to all homes in the Borough at the end of last year. For full details of what you can bring please click on the following link to download your digital copy of the guide:AND Recycling Guide 2022 (adobe.com)

When you select the categories of waste you will be bringing to the site, the online booking system will automatically direct you to the HRC(s) that can accommodate those waste streams.

PLEASE NOTE: Only household waste from residences located within the Borough can be brought to our Household Recycling Centres and all recyclable waste must be placed in the correct container; recyclable waste will not be permitted in landfill skips.

Disposal of Rubble (Balloo Only)

We don’t accept rubble from construction, building or demolition sites at our recycling centres.

We will accept a small amount of rubble from household DIY projects (no powdered plaster, gypsum products or hazardous wastes), up to a maximum single axle trailer load and must be broken down into small pieces.

This can be taken to Balloo recycling centre only.

As rubble is classified as industrial rather than household waste, larger amounts of rubble or construction waste should be disposed of by the resident engaging a private waste contractor to remove it.

Is there a limit to how many journeys I can make in a day or a week?

You can book as many journeys as you need in a day if you are using a car/small single axle trailer (or other vehicle which did not previously require a permit to enter) as long as vacant slots are available at your chosen site. Visits to sites are subject to our ‘Fair Usage Policy.’ Where bookings for a particular address appears to be excessive for normal householder use, you may be prompted to call for further booking requests. Bookings for compostable garden waste ONLY will generally be unlimited.

Bookings for access to bring household waste to HRCs using other forms of transport that previously required a householder to apply for a permit, such as vans, two axle trailers etc. will be restricted to six visits per year from any residential address.

Bookings to dispose of compostable garden waste ONLY in a double-axle trailer are also unlimited.

The booking system will automatically manage these rules.

What do I need to bring with me when I visit?

You need to bring your booking reference number, which will be provided by email after you have completed your booking, plus documentary proof of residence in the Borough that matches the address given when booking. A list of acceptable proofs is on the booking page and will also be included in the confirmation email you will receive after booking.

What happens if I book my car in then need to use a different vehicle?

You should cancel your previous booking using the link button provided in your confirmation email and make a new booking using the new vehicle details.

Can I cancel or change my booking?

You can cancel your appointment by following the link in your confirmation booking. Please try to cancel with as much notice as possible so that your booking slot can be freed for another person to use.

If I have a van, pick up or large trailer, do I still need to apply for a permit book as before?

No, the system will recognise if you have a van and double-axle trailer or another vehicle that normally would have required a permit once you enter it online. There will be no need to separately apply for a permit. As previously, if you use a form of transport that normally would have required a permit, such visits will still be limited to six visits per residential address in a calendar year.

Can I book on behalf of someone else?

Yes, so long as the person you are booking for is a Borough resident and able to show identification on arrival. If you are making the booking for someone else, make sure you enter the details of the person who will be attending the appointment and their vehicle registration number, which cannot be changed once the appointment is booked.

Is this system new or in use in other places?

The system the Council is introducing is in use in a many other local authorities across Great Britain.

A recent DEFRA study (December 2022) into HRC booking systems reported that “86% of Local Authority respondents to our survey believed that the local community was either satisfied or very satisfied with their booking system. Only a few considered that the local community was neutral (5%) or dissatisfied (5%)”.

Is there a risk that this new system will result in more fly-tipping across the Borough?

This concern was considered by the Council and is the subject of a substantial report published by DEFRA in December 2022. The report states that local authorities in England which have introduced a booking system have ‘not identified any evidence showing a link between fly-tipping and booking systems.’ It further states, “It appears a lot of media coverage has been generated focussing on the feelings/ instinct of some local politicians and members of the public, about a linkage, sometimes because of a rise in fly-tipping (or fear of a rise), rather than any evidence of a link.”

Still have a question?