SMARTER bin collection trial

The Council has agreed to trial changes to the collection rota that more accurately reflect the different types of waste generated in the home and will further enhance the quality of our service. 

Building on our success

Ards and North Down has led the way across Northern Ireland in the introduction of new arrangements for kerbside food waste recycling and glass collections, as well as significantly expanding the range of materials that go into blue bins.  This means that over 80% of all household waste is now readily recyclable at the kerbside by simply placing items in the correct bins. 

With these recycling service improvements has come a now well-established rule in the Borough that prohibits the placing of any food waste, blue bin recyclable material or glass bottles/jars into grey bins for landfilling.  As they strive to fully embrace these new arrangements, increasing numbers of residents tell us that they want to recycle more – but need the right bin space and collections to facilitate this. 

What is changing? 

  • For those in the trial area only, additional blue bin capacity (upgrade from 240L to 360L bin) and additional glass recycling boxes (from 1 to 2) will be provided to increase space for recycling. 
  • Blue bins and green/brown bins will continue to be collected fortnightly and glass boxes every 4 weeks.   
  • The grey bin will be collected every 4 weeks (as opposed to every fortnight) since, as households continue to improve their recycling habits, the grey bin is being used much less by the majority of homes.
  • Whilst the amount of each type of bin space will change, the trial will deliver increased overall bin capacity to homes (from a total of 1480 litres to 1520 litres capacity for the average home over a 4-week collection cycle). 
  • Critically it should be noted that households that have increased non-recyclable waste disposal requirements (such as children’s disposable nappies and clinical/medical waste) will be able to avail of special arrangements to retain their 2-weekly grey bin collection.          

How will the trial work? 

A further report setting out full details of the trial will be brought before the Council in December 2020 but the following proposals will be included:

  • The trial will not start until Summer 2021, with precise timing to be confirmed.  It will run for at least 6 months to allow for full evaluation of the impacts. 
  • The trial will involve around 4,000 homes, selected to give a representative sample of different household types across the Borough.

All households placed on the smarter bin collection trial will be notified by letter and provided with full information on how the trial works before any alteration to their bin collection service begins.  Assistance will be available from Council Recycling Officers throughout the trial to ensure the new collection arrangements can be fully utilised. 

Householders should note that the planned trial will not affect them unless they are specifically notified by letter.

Information on the trial can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions document that can be downloaded below or upon request by emailing (please entitle your email ‘SMARTER Bin Collection Trial’).

The trial will be fully evaluated and reviewed by Council before any decisions are taken on wider roll out across the Borough.