HRCs during COVID19 - Important Information

Council Reopens Household ‘RECYCLING’ Centres, Not ‘DUMPS’

The Northern Ireland Executive updated the Covid-19 regulations on 14 May to include trips to Household Recycling Centres as a reason for essential travel. In response, Ards and North Down Borough Council opened its three largest household recycling centres (Bangor, Newtownards & Comber) on Monday 18 May.

An HRC service recommenced at the sites in Holywood (11 June) and Kircubbin (15 June). 

All remaining HRCs - Ballygowan, Donaghadee, Millisle, Portaferry - will reopen from Wednesday 1 July.   

Opening hours as follows:

  • Balloo HRC, Bangor - 7 days a week; Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 9am to 6pm
  • North Road HRC, Newtownards - Monday to Friday, 1pm to 8pm and Saturday, 9am to 4pm. Closed Sunday.
  • Comber HRC - Monday to Saturday, 9am to 4pm. Closed Sunday.
  • Holywood HRC - From 11 June - Thursday-Saturday; 9am to 5pm. Closed Sunday to Wednesday.
  • Kircubbin HRC - From 15 June - Monday-Thursday: 9am to 4pm (last entry 3.50pm) - BY PRE-BOOKED APPOINTMENT ONLY (Booking details in drop down section below)
  • Ballygowan HRC - From 1 July - Monday-Wednesday: 9am to 4pm.  BY PRE-BOOKED APPOINTMENT ONLY (Booking details in drop down section below)
  • Donaghadee HRC:  From 1 July - Monday-Wednesday: 9am to 4pm.  BY PRE-BOOKED APPOINTMENT ONLY (Booking details in drop down section below)
  • Millisle HRC: From 2 July - Thursday-Friday: 9am to 4pm and Saturday 9am to 4.30pm.  BY PRE-BOOKED APPOINTMENT ONLY (Booking details in drop down section below) 
  • Portaferry HRC:  rom 2 July - Thursday-Friday: 9am to 4pm and Saturday 9am to 4.30pm.  BY PRE-BOOKED APPOINTMENT ONLY (Booking details in drop down section below) 

Please note, the gates close on each site 15 minutes before the stated closing times so please plan your journey accordingly. Any vehicles remaining on site will be able to finish off and leave the site by the closing time.

We will be operating strict social distancing measures so please note:

  • A limited number of vehicles will be allowed onto each site at any one time.
  • You will have to queue for access - at peak times queues may be very long and we would ask you to be patient
  • Our staff will not be able to help you to lift your recycling from your car to the appropriate containers.  If you need help offloading, please bring another person with you.

NB: only two people per vehicle will be allowed access.

  • When offloading please keep at least 2-metres distance between you and other users/employees. 
  • Once onsite, we would ask you to limit your visit to 5 minutes – to assist others waiting to get access. 
  • There will be no pedestrian access – entry in a vehicle only.

Covid-19 does not stop our commitment to STAND for Sustainability. All the established rules to promote recycling at our HRCs will still apply – remember, they are ‘recycling’ centres; not ‘dumps’!

  • Full recycling participation will be required and disposal of recyclable waste in landfill skips will not be permitted. From week commencing 25 May 2020, all HRC visitors will be required to retrieve blue bin recyclable waste items and glass bottles/jars from any black bags they wish to dispose of in landfill skips, and place them in the blue bins/glass caddies provided beside the skips.
  • We will have increased capacity for mixed dry recyclable materials (items that go into the blue bin). So if you have extra such blue bin materials for disposal keep them separate and put them into the blue bins at the HRC.  DO NOT PUT BLUE BIN RECYCLABLES IN THE LANDFILL SKIPS.
  • Cars, and cars with small single axle trailers, will be permitted with the full range of materials normally accepted at our HRCs.
  • Vans or large trailers (larger than single axle) will be admitted at Bangor, Newtownards and Comber ONLY, and will require a permit for access as usual.  Because of current restrictions, permits are only available in electronic format. Please telephone 0300 013 3333 and press option 3 to speak to an operator. An application form and details of what is required in order to process your application will then be sent out to you. Permit requests that have been submitted by email are currently being processed as quickly as possible.
  • You must sort your waste before you come to the site. A bit of extra time at home will save you a lot of extra time on site – and this benefits everyone – especially during the current crisis.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure you bring ID as proof of residency in the Borough e.g. Driving Licence, Utility Bill showing address.  Show this to attendant through the CLOSED car window at entrance to site.

We know many residents will welcome our sites reopening to help them manage increased levels of domestic waste due to more people being at home full-time.

BUT please remember the NI Executive and PHA message remains “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”. You should ONLY travel to an HRC if it is essential e.g. if storing the waste at home presents a health and safety risk.

Our full kerbside collection services continue to operate and if used to their full potential, should be sufficient to allow you to manage your waste at home in the short to medium term. If you have to visit one of our HRCs, remember:

  • Sort your waste before you leave the house - separate all recyclables from non-recyclable (landfill) waste items.
  • Be prepared to queue
  • Maintain social distancing when onsite
  • You will not be allowed to dispose of recyclable waste in landfill skips.
  • If you are self-isolating or have symptoms of COVID-19 DO NOT come to our sites under any circumstances.

Please respect our staff and the instructions they give you. We will take a zero tolerance approach to any verbal or physical abuse and will report any incidents to the PSNI.

We will keep these arrangements under regular review in the coming weeks and would advise you to check back for the latest information and guidance before making a trip to one of our sites.

Frequently asked questions

Why have only three centres (Bangor, Newtownards and Comber) been chosen to reopen on May 18?

The Household Recycling Centres s at Bangor, Newtownards and Comber are the three largest sites. Their size and location means that they are best suited for us to operate in line with the restrictions placed on us by the COVID19 pandemic.

These three sites will allow for the necessary social distancing requirements within the sites, but also traffic management outside of them. Their size will help provide a continuity of service, as the skips and containers can be serviced throughout the day without the need to close the sites to the public.

What are the details for Holywood HRC?

Holywood HRC reopening Thursday 11 June

Times: Thursday-Saturday; 9am to 5pm (last entry 4.45pm)

Access arrangements: Due to local parking restrictions, and recognising the likelihood of high demand and the associated road traffic safety issues that could arise, queuing on Sullivan Close will not be permitted. Residents waiting access to the HRC must use the Queen’s Leisure Complex car park located directly beside the site – traffic management assistance will be in place. At this time only cars will be allowed onto the site – no vans permitted (vans can use the Comber, Balloo and Ards sites with a permit).

We will be operating strict social distancing measures so please note:

▪ A limited number of vehicles will be allowed onto the site at any one time
▪ You must queue for access in the car park beside the site and we would ask you to be patient. Queuing on the road will not be permitted as it is an offence to queue on double yellow lines or within 10 metres of a junction and traffic obstructions could be caused.
▪ Our staff will not be able to help you to lift your recycling from your car to the appropriate skip(s). If you need help offloading, please bring another person with you. NB: only two people per vehicle will be allowed access.

All waste must be pre-sorted before coming to the site and placed in the correct containers – placing of any recyclable waste in the landfill skip WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

▪ When offloading please keep at least 2-metres distance between you and other users/employees.
▪ Once onsite, we would ask you to limit your visit to 5 minutes – to assist others waiting to get access.
▪ There will be no pedestrian access – entry in a vehicle only.

You must bring ID showing proof of address for access.

You should only travel to an HRC if it is essential e.g. if storing the waste at home presents a health and safety risk.

What are the details for Kircubbin HRC?

Kircubbin HRC reopening Monday 15 June

Times: Monday-Thursday: 9am to 4pm (last entry 3.50pm)

Access arrangements: Due to the size and location of the site, you must pre book your visit in advance. Bookings will be in slots of 10 minutes. To book an appointment please phone 07747 131 913 between 10am and 2pm Monday to Thursday. The booking line will be live at 10am on Thursday 11 June.

Vehicles must attend strictly on time for entry. Late comers will not be admitted and will have to re book their appointment. We are expecting a large number of bookings so please attend only at the time given and keep your time on site to a maximum of ten minutes to help others gain access.

Queueing will not be allowed on Parsonage Road due to road safety issues. If queues develop on the road, the site may have to close for safety reasons as advised by the PSNI.

At this time only cars will be allowed onto the site – no vans permitted (vans can use the Comber, Balloo and Ards sites with a permit).

We will be operating strict social distancing measures so please note:

▪ A limited number of vehicles will be allowed onto each site at any one time
▪ You will have to briefly queue on the approach laneway to the site for access.
▪ Our staff will not be able to help you to lift your recycling from your car to the appropriate skip(s). If you need help offloading, please bring another person with you.

NB: only two people per vehicle will be allowed access.

ALL waste must be pre-sorted before coming to the site and placed in the correct containers – placing of any recyclable waste in the landfill skip WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

▪ When offloading please keep at least 2-metres distance between you and other users/employees.
▪ Once on site please limit unloading your vehicle to 5 minutes and exit the site within 10 minutes of entering – to assist others waiting to get access.
▪ There will be no pedestrian access – entry in a vehicle only.

You should only travel to an HRC if it is essential e.g. if storing the waste at home presents a health risk.

What are the details for Ballygowan HRC?

Ballygowan HRC reopening Wednesday 1 July

Times: Monday-Wednesday: 9am to 4pm (last entry 3.50pm)

Access arrangements: Due to the size and location of the site, you must pre book your visit 48 hours in advance. Bookings will be in slots of 10 minutes. To book an appointment please phone 07741 129 205 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday. The booking line will be live at 10am on Monday 29 June.

Vehicles must attend strictly on time for entry. Late comers will not be admitted and will have to re book their appointment. We are expecting a large number of bookings so please attend only at the time given and keep your time on site to a maximum of ten minutes to help others gain access.

At this time only cars will be allowed onto the site – no vans permitted (vans can use the Comber, Balloo and Ards sites with a permit).

We will be operating strict social distancing measures so please note:

▪ A limited number of vehicles will be allowed onto each site at any one time
▪ You will have to briefly queue on the approach laneway to the site for access.
▪ Our staff will not be able to help you to lift your recycling from your car to the appropriate skip(s). If you need help offloading, please bring another person with you.

NB: only two people per vehicle will be allowed access.

ALL waste must be pre-sorted before coming to the site and placed in the correct containers – placing of any recyclable waste in the landfill skip WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

▪ When offloading please keep at least 2-metres distance between you and other users/employees.
▪ Once on site please limit unloading your vehicle to 5 minutes and exit the site within 10 minutes of entering – to assist others waiting to get access.
▪ There will be no pedestrian access – entry in a vehicle only.

You should only travel to an HRC if it is essential e.g. if storing the waste at home presents a health risk.

What are the details for Donaghadee HRC?

Donagahdee HRC reopening Wednesday 1 July

Times: Monday-Wednesday: 9am to 4pm (last entry 3.50pm)

Access arrangements: Due to the size and location of the site, you must pre book your visit 48 hours in advance. Bookings will be in slots of 10 minutes. To book an appointment please phone 07741 126 326 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday. The booking line will be live at 10am on Monday 29 June.

Vehicles must attend strictly on time for entry. Late comers will not be admitted and will have to re book their appointment. We are expecting a large number of bookings so please attend only at the time given and keep your time on site to a maximum of ten minutes to help others gain access.

At this time only cars will be allowed onto the site – no vans permitted (vans can use the Comber, Balloo and Ards sites with a permit).

We will be operating strict social distancing measures so please note:

▪ A limited number of vehicles will be allowed onto each site at any one time
▪ You will have to briefly queue on the approach laneway to the site for access.
▪ Our staff will not be able to help you to lift your recycling from your car to the appropriate skip(s). If you need help offloading, please bring another person with you.

NB: only two people per vehicle will be allowed access.

ALL waste must be pre-sorted before coming to the site and placed in the correct containers – placing of any recyclable waste in the landfill skip WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

▪ When offloading please keep at least 2-metres distance between you and other users/employees.
▪ Once on site please limit unloading your vehicle to 5 minutes and exit the site within 10 minutes of entering – to assist others waiting to get access.
▪ There will be no pedestrian access – entry in a vehicle only.

You should only travel to an HRC if it is essential e.g. if storing the waste at home presents a health risk.

What are the details for Portaferry HRC?

Portaferry HRC reopening Thursday 2 July

Times: Thursday to Friday: 9am to 4pm (last entry 3.50pm) and Saturday 9am to 4.30pm (last entry 4.20pm)

Access arrangements: Due to the size and location of the site, you must pre book your visit 48 hours in advance. Bookings will be in slots of 10 minutes. To book an appointment please phone 07747 131 913 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday. The booking line will be live at 10am on Monday 29 June.

Vehicles must attend strictly on time for entry. Late comers will not be admitted and will have to re book their appointment. We are expecting a large number of bookings so please attend only at the time given and keep your time on site to a maximum of ten minutes to help others gain access.

At this time only cars will be allowed onto the site – no vans permitted (vans can use the Comber, Balloo and Ards sites with a permit).

We will be operating strict social distancing measures so please note:

▪ A limited number of vehicles will be allowed onto each site at any one time
▪ You will have to briefly queue on the approach laneway to the site for access.
▪ Our staff will not be able to help you to lift your recycling from your car to the appropriate skip(s). If you need help offloading, please bring another person with you.

NB: only two people per vehicle will be allowed access.

ALL waste must be pre-sorted before coming to the site and placed in the correct containers – placing of any recyclable waste in the landfill skip WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

▪ When offloading please keep at least 2-metres distance between you and other users/employees.
▪ Once on site please limit unloading your vehicle to 5 minutes and exit the site within 10 minutes of entering – to assist others waiting to get access.
▪ There will be no pedestrian access – entry in a vehicle only.

You should only travel to an HRC if it is essential e.g. if storing the waste at home presents a health risk.

What are the details for Millisle HRC?

Millisle HRC reopening Thursday 2 July

Times: Thursday to Friday: 9am to 4pm (last entry 3.50pm) and Saturday 9am to 4.30pm (last entry 4.20pm)

Access arrangements: Due to the size and location of the site, you must pre book your visit 48 hours in advance. Bookings will be in slots of 10 minutes. To book an appointment please phone 07741 129 205 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday. The booking line will be live at 10am on Monday 29 June.

Vehicles must attend strictly on time for entry. Late comers will not be admitted and will have to re book their appointment. We are expecting a large number of bookings so please attend only at the time given and keep your time on site to a maximum of ten minutes to help others gain access.

At this time only cars will be allowed onto the site – no vans permitted (vans can use the Comber, Balloo and Ards sites with a permit).

We will be operating strict social distancing measures so please note:

▪ A limited number of vehicles will be allowed onto each site at any one time
▪ You will have to briefly queue on the approach laneway to the site for access.
▪ Our staff will not be able to help you to lift your recycling from your car to the appropriate skip(s). If you need help offloading, please bring another person with you.

NB: only two people per vehicle will be allowed access.

ALL waste must be pre-sorted before coming to the site and placed in the correct containers – placing of any recyclable waste in the landfill skip WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

▪ When offloading please keep at least 2-metres distance between you and other users/employees.
▪ Once on site please limit unloading your vehicle to 5 minutes and exit the site within 10 minutes of entering – to assist others waiting to get access.
▪ There will be no pedestrian access – entry in a vehicle only.

You should only travel to an HRC if it is essential e.g. if storing the waste at home presents a health risk.

Won’t there be big queues when the HRCs reopen?

Yes, we anticipate that the centres will be extremely busy when they reopen.

We will be deploying extra staff not only within the HRC sites but also outside to help with traffic management.

Please consider if your journey is absolutely essential.

The NI Executive and PHA message remains “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”. Residents should ONLY travel to an HRC if it is essential e.g. if storing the waste at home presents a health and safety risk.

Ards and North Down Borough Council has maintained a full kerbside collection service throughout the pandemic to date and we urge all our residents to continue to use this to the maximum capacity for their individual households.

Why are the HRCs at Newtownards and Comber not open for full days?

Due to the requirement to maintain clear access to the Council’s waste collections depot at North Road during the working day and to deploy the additional HRC staff that will be required to implement Covid-19 safety precautions, HRC opening hours at North Road and Comber HRCs will be split across the day as indicated.

Why do I need a van permit?

The van permit system has been in operation since January 2018. This has not changed.

Vans or large trailers (larger than single axle) require a permit for access as usual. Because of current restrictions, permits are only available in electronic format. Please note, at this time, vans and large trailers are only permitted at the three largest HRC sites: Bangor, Newtownards and Comber.

Please telephone 0300 013 3333 and press option 3 to speak to an operator. An application form and details of what is required in order to process your application will then be sent out to you. Permit requests that have been submitted by email are currently being processed as quickly as possible.

Are there any restrictions to the type of waste that I can bring to the HRCs?

Ards and North Down Borough Council has maintained a full kerbside collection service throughout the pandemic to date and we urge all our residents to continue to use this to the maximum capacity for their individual households.

We ask that you please respect the guidance given by the NI Executive and Public Health Agency to “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”.

Residents should ONLY travel to an HRC if it is essential e.g. if storing the waste at home presents a health and safety risk.

If you absolutely must travel to one of our HRCs, the open sites will be accepting the usual waste streams.

If disposing of an old oil tank, please note that it must be drained and cut in half before bringing to the HRC.

Balloo Recycling Centre - What you can recycle

Garden waste, wood and timber, scrap metal, fridges and freezers, large appliances, small appliances, TVs and monitors, portable batteries, car batteries, used engine oil, cooking oil, fluorescent tubes, paint, paint reuse, mixed glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, mixed paper, food and drink cans, ink cartridges, textiles, books, gas bottles, reuse container, plasterboard, rubble, carpet, mattresses and cardboard.

Newtownards Recycling Centre – What you can recycle

Garden waste, wood and timber, scrap metal, fridges and freezers, large appliances, small appliances, TVs and monitors, portable batteries, car batteries, used engine oil, cooking oil, fluorescent tubes, paint, paint reuse, mixed glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, mixed paper, food and drink cans, textiles, carpets, mattresses, books, gas bottles and cardboard.

Comber Recycling Centre – What you can recycle

Garden waste, wood and timber, scrap metal, fridges and freezers, large appliances, small appliances, TVs and monitors, portable batteries, car batteries, used engine oil, cooking oil, fluorescent tubes, paint, paint reuse, mixed glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, mixed paper, food and drink cans, textiles, carpets, mattresses, books, gas bottles and cardboard.

Holywood Recycling Centre - What you can recycle

Household waste, garden waste, wood and timber, scrap metal, fridges and freezers, large appliances, small appliances, TVs and monitors, portable batteries, car batteries, used engine oil, cooking oil, fluorescent tubes, paint, paint reuse, mixed glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, mixed paper, food and drink cans, textiles, books and cardboard.

Kircubbin Recycling Centre - What you can recycle

Mixed Glass, Cans, Paper, Cardboard, Textiles, Green Waste, Fridges and Freezers, Other White Goods, Small Domestic Appliances, Scrap Metal, Fluorescent Tubes, Car Batteries, Household Batteries, used cooking oil, Engine Oil, Paint, Wood and cardboard

Ballygowan Recycling Centre - What you can recycle

Garden waste, wood and timber, scrap metal, fridges and freezers, large appliances, small appliances, TVs and monitors, portable batteries, car batteries, used engine oil, fluorescent tubes, paint, paint reuse, mixed glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, mixed paper,used cooking oil, food and drink cans, textiles, books, gas bottles and cardboard.

Donaghadee HRC – What you can recycle

Garden waste, fridges and freezers, large appliances, small appliances, TVs and monitors, portable batteries, car batteries, used engine oil, fluorescent tubes, paint, mixed glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, mixed paper, used cooking oil, food and drink cans, textiles, books, gas bottles and cardboard.

Portaferry HRC – What you can recycle

Garden waste, wood and timber, scrap metal, fridges and freezers, large appliances, small appliances, TVs and monitors, portable batteries, car batteries, used engine oil, fluorescent tubes, paint, mixed glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, mixed paper, used cooking oil, food and drink cans, textiles, books, gas bottles and cardboard.

Millisle HRC – What you can recycle

Garden waste, wood and timber, scrap metal, fridges and freezers, large appliances, small appliances, TVs and monitors, portable batteries, car batteries, used engine oil, fluorescent tubes, paint, paint reuse, mixed glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, used cooking oil, mixed paper, food and drink cans, textiles, books, gas bottles and cardboard.