Council to extend new recycling system after trial proves a success

Gareth Townsley (left) from Bryson Recycling with Oliver Shields, Danielle Shields and Ethan Shields from Aylesbury Lane near Glengormley as they put Bryson Recycling's new 'Wheelie Box' to test.
Gareth Townsley (left) from Bryson Recycling with Oliver Shields, Danielle Shields and Ethan Shields from Aylesbury Lane near Glengormley as they put Bryson Recycling's new 'Wheelie Box' to test.

Newtownabbey Council is planning to extend its new ‘triple stack’ recycling initiative to another 4,000 homes in the borough.

The move follows the success of an initial pilot project where the system - three separate recycling containers stacked on a trolley - and smaller 180 litre bins were trialled at 4,000 properties.

At the June meeting of the local authority’s Environment Committee, waste and recycling manager Jim Gurney gave a presentation informing members that the £230,000 pilot project, funded through a variety of sources, had been a great success.

He told the meeting that the ‘triple stack’ - also known as the ‘Wheelie Box’ - trial area had shown a 15 per cent increase in participation, a 25 per cent increase in recycling tonnage and a 25 per cent reduction in the residual waste tonnage sent to landfill. He also pointed out that the results of a customer satisfaction survey had been “very positive”.

Members were informed that the successful scheme, run by the council in conjunction with Bryson Recycling, has attracted interest from a number of other councils in Scotland and Wales.

Mr Gurney said that if the system was rolled out across the borough, the council could increase its overall recycling levels to 52 per cent and reduce waste to landfill by a further 11 per cent. And he pointed out that those figures were “conservative” projections.

Councillors praised officers and staff for the “huge success” of the project and pointed out that many householders are keen to receive the triple stack system.

Hugh Kelly, director of environment services, said the public response to the trial had been “remarkable”, with the council having run out of the recycling containers due to the number of requests from individuals.

“It’s been a real success story and it’s something that we can build on,” he said.

Committee members agreed a recommendation that the scheme should be rolled out to a further 4,000 properties this autumn. A decision on which areas will be included in the roll-out is due to be taken by the council’s management team over the next few weeks.

Funding for the second phase of the project will come from the council’s waste management budget as well as grant aid, possibly from the Rethink Waste Fund.

The council is seeking to increase its overall recycling and composting rate from the current figure of around 50 per cent to 60 per cent by 2020.

Meanwhile, Mallusk-based Bryson Recycling has claimed that the introduction of the ‘Wheelie Box’ is one of the most significant recycling innovations in recent years.

A survey of two specific routes within the council’s trial area - Elmfield and Henryville - revealed that recycling levels in those particular areas increased by an impressive 30 per cent.

Eric Randall, Director of Bryson Recycling, revealed that 98 per cent of those surveyed were satisfied with the new service.

“We wanted to develop a new approach that improves our service further, making it easier for householders to use whilst improving recycling performance and our survey results support this,” he said.

The positive survey results were also welcomed by Environment Minister Mark H Durkan and Mayor Thomas Hogg.

“The council is delighted that local residents have fully supported the new service in partnership with Bryson Recycling. The positive results speak for themselves and we are confident that the next stage of this service to another 4,000 householders will see recycling rates increase even further,” Alderman Hogg commented.