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Recycling poll highlights issues for Belfast residents

35% of Belfast householders are not happy with their recycling service
40% of local respondents do not think the size of their recycling bins are adequate
20% of Belfast householders dump glass waste in their black bin

In a recent NI-wide recycling poll, over one third (35%) of householders in Belfast said they are not happy with the way the council has asked them to recycle their household waste.

However, in council areas across Northern Ireland where household recyclables (plastic, paper, card, tins and cardboard etc.) can be ‘commingled’ with glass in the same bin, 80% of householders reported that they were happy with how their council has asked them to recycle.

Encouragingly, 77% of the householders surveyed across Belfast said that they try to recycle everything they can, however a fifth of the respondents admitted to recycling only when it was convenient for them, but not always.

When asked what would encourage them to recycle more, 43% of the householders who only recycle when convenient said they would recycle more if there was one bin that took all recycling, including glass, and 24% said if they could use wheelie bins instead of kerbside boxes then they would recycle more.

Joseph Doherty, Managing Director of Re-Gen Waste Ltd said: “These survey results indicate that simplicity and convenience are the most significant factors in determining participation by householders.

“Local authorities need to encourage the maximum number of people to recycle the maximum volume of materials, weighed against the cost of processing the material, and the potential financial benefits from reducing landfill costs, and selling on recyclable material.

“The councils we with work in Northern Ireland, England and Scotland tell us that household friendly schemes such as commingling recyclables, are much preferable to residents than pre-sort schemes, using small containers and that working with advanced Material Recycling Facilities (MRF’s) like ours, is actively improving their recycling rates.”

Mr Doherty’s observations are reflected by the survey finding that 20% of people in Belfast who can’t recycle their glass along with the rest of their recycling waste, will put their glass in the municipal waste (black) bin, compared to three in one hundred people who live in council areas that offer a commingled glass recycling service.

Mr Doherty continued; “More and more local authorities are seeing the benefits and cost savings achieved by switching to commingling collection services, alongside an ultra-modern MRF.

“What we should be doing is taking learnings from Mid Ulster Council, the top performing recycling council in Northern Ireland. Their waste recycling collection is commingled with glass and where other councils are operating several waste collections within their area, Mid Ulster Council has exceeded the EU’s Directive of a 50% household recycling rate by 6.3%, nearly two years before the 2020 deadline.

“Mid Ulster has continued to grow their recycling rate year on year, which would suggest to me that they are doing something right.”

Last Updated: Wednesday, 22nd May 2019 11:47