District vies to be Recycling capital of the UK

THE council has hailed its new recycling scheme a great success since it began two weeks ago - and rubbished a claim that its lorries are too big to fit into some of the district’s estates.

The new scheme, rolled out at the start of this month, has seen massive increases in the amount of recyclable material being collected from households - with 36 per cent more glass being collected and 74 per cent more dry material.

The council’s Director of Environmental Services David Lindsay said he is confident people will soon form a good habit and make Banbridge the recycling capital of the UK.

He said, “As recycling fever spreads to every home in our district and recycling becomes firmly embedded as an unbreakable ‘habit’ for every resident both young and old, we firmly believe that the district’s recycling rate will rise even further through our new kerbside recycling service.”

Judging by the first two week’s worth of improvements the annual increase of material collected could be around 1,300 tonnes, according to the council.

But one Rathfriland resident said not everyone is happy with the new scheme.

“The council have spent thousands on new bin lorries and they’re too big to get in and out of some of the area’s estates - this clearly hasn’t been well thought-through,” he told the Leader.

The council rubbished this claim, explaining that the lorries are longer but not wider, and they sometimes require a certain amount of manoeuvring around estates. The spokeswoman assured all residents that their bins would be collected as normal and asked that residents be patient in the first few weeks as the amount of material to be collected has increased dramatically.

On the first day of the new collections a Linen Fields resident complained that their bin was not collected until the next day, and the council admitted it was a first-day hitch.

Councillor David Herron, Chair of the Environmental Services Committee, said residents deserve praise for getting on board with the scheme.

“Householders throughout the district have been absolutely fantastic in terms of their level of engagement and the waste collected has exceeded our most optimistic expectations,” he said.

“We cannot thank the public enough because their support and participation is essential.”

Some issues the council has highlighted include reminding residents not to put plastic bags or polystyrene into green bins but rather the black bin, and putting only glass bottles and jars in the inner caddy of the green bin rather than into the main part of the bin.