Council to roll out new recycling system to 4,000 more homes

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Newtownabbey Borough Council is planning to roll out its new ‘triple stack’ recycling system to 4,000 more households later this year.

Following a successful trial of the three new kerbie boxes, which come on a trolley, and smaller black bins, the local authority has decided to extend the scheme.

At their Environment Committee meeting on Monday, September 1, councillors were informed that there had been a 14 - 17 per cent increase in recycling box usage in the four initial trial areas, and a significant reduction in the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

The council is now finalising plans to extend the ‘triple stack’ scheme into areas of Glengormley, Ballyclare, Doagh, Whiteabbey, Rathcoole and Ballyduff.

While the council is still hoping to secure funding for the project from Rethink Waste, it is expected to be rolled out in October or November.

During Monday’s meeting, Councillors Billy Webb and Mark Cosgrove raised concerns that Newtownabbey was being asked to transfer its surplus under the Northern Ireland Landfill Allowance Scheme (NILAS) to other arc21 member councils that had failed to meet required targets for 2013/14.

While there is no commercial value to the surplus, they said that the council had made considerable investment and taken significant steps to increase its recycling levels and reduce waste to landfill, while other local authorities seemed to be getting a “get out of jail free card” thanks to their membership of arc21.

Hugh Kelly, assistant chief executive, stressed that all councils are trying their best to meet the NILAS targets, but said that some haven’t been able to establish the necessary infrastructure and systems as quickly as Newtownabbey Council has.

Pointing to the ever-tightening targets being faced by local authorities under NILAS, the council’s waste and recycling manager, Jim Gurney said that council’s ongoing strategy aimed at increasing recycling and reducing black bin waste should enable it to meet those targets in the years ahead.

“We are doing the right things and we need to continue doing those things moving forward,” he told the meeting.

Meanwhile, Mr Gurney confirmed that Newtownabbey Council has no plans to follow the example of Banbridge Council and introduce monthly black bin collections.

He gave the assurance in response to a question from UUP Councillor John Scott.