Climate Change & Sustainability

How can you help?

Making changes like the food you eat and the way that you travel could reduce your carbon footprint. These 16 Steps on the 'Count us in' website have been selected with experts from the UN Environment Programme based on three criteria:

  1. the impact on your personal carbon pollution;
  2. the power to influence leaders; and
  3. the ability to involve everyone.

Climate Change Top Tips

Council secured funding from the Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful (KNIB) Climate Challenge Fund, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Click on the link below to hear top tips you can do around the home, to not only save some money, but lower your carbon footprint and help protect our planet.

Waste Minimisation / Reuse / Recycling

MEA Christmas Toy Container Project

Each Christmas, we contact our residents and ask “Why not give those unwanted and pre-loved toys lying around the house to families who may find this time of year more challenging?”

We have toy drop off points throughout the borough and we then redistribute them to our delivery partners above to either sell on at a very low cost, or to directly gift to local communities.

This scheme not only reduces toys going to landfill, it generates revenue for local charities and helps those families most in need at this time of year.

MEA School Uniform Scheme

Each year, Council works in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Community Advice Services (MEACAS) to deliver a school uniform scheme. We invite residents to drop off pre-loved uniforms and school items to designated drop off points in Jun/July. We also work with Volunteer Now who help to sort the uniform items. We then host Pop Up Shops throughout the borough in July/August and invite residents to call in to collect items they need, free of charge.

Find out more here.

MEA Cloth Nappy Scheme

Disposable nappies cannot be recycled. They must go in the general waste bin, so if you have a small baby in your household, nappies will make up a significant proportion of rubbish.

By swapping to cloth nappies, parents can dramatically reduce the amount of waste they put in general waste bins and send to landfill.

We are now offering parents in Mid and East Antrim the opportunity to try washable nappies for free for two weeks, as well as offering a £20 refund on the cost of buying reusable nappies.

Find out more here.


Because you can change the world with tap water. Each time you refill a reusable water bottle, you cut plastic pollution, get world-class water, and save a bitta cash!

Council have joined the #Refillution to encourage everyone to refill a reusable water bottle with tap water and stop buying single-use plastic bottles. By switching to reusable bottles we can all help reduce plastic waste!

Why not take the NI Water Refillution pledge and start saving water and cutting down on single-use plastics today?

Council have engaged over 92 businesses across the borough who now offer you a free refill of water on the go!

Find out more here.

MEA Waste and Recycling

Council delivers a waste and recycling service to all 58,000 households in our borough. This is through provision of black bin (landfill), Bryson kerbside box (Ballymena/Carrickfergus area) and blue bin (Larne area) as well as brown bin collection service.

Council also have five Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) across the borough. There is a wide range of recyclable materials accepted at the centres. The HRCs also play host to a number of waste initiatives throughout the year.

We also have a wide network of Bring Centres. Each centre has a set of banks which take a range of recyclables including: glass / paper / tetrapak / cans/tins / textiles

Throughout each year, Council delivers a series of waste minimisation and recycling initiatives.

CIRCUS Programme

In addition to the above, Council departments work together to deliver bespoke reuse programmes including the Circular Economy Social Enterprise Programme or ‘CIRCUS Programme’, led by our Economic Development Team and in partnership with Ballymena Business and Work West.  Here social enterprises across the borough can find support and guidance on making the most of ‘waste’ items and creating new innovative products, which can be sold on the market.


Biodiversity encompasses all living things; the diversity of species, the variation of genes that enables organisms to evolve and adapt, and the wide range ecosystems where organisms live and interact.

The world’s ecosystems are fragile and their collapse may cause mass extinction of species. It is estimated that more than 10,000 species become extinct worldwide each year, and this figure is rising. The primary cause of this extinction is human beings.

Click here to find out more about biodiversity and how you can help to protect it. This link will also take you directly to our Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). 

Our Parks and Open Spaces team deliver a number of programmes with delivery partners to education our young ones and society in general about biodiversity and sustainability.

MEA Sustainable Food Places

Mid and East Antrim Sustainable Food Places partnership group currently consists of Council Officers, organisational stakeholders such as Northern Health and Social Care Trust and Social Farms and Gardens, and community stakeholders such as Positive Carrickfergus and Larne Area Community Support Group.

We are committed to developing a Strategic and Collaborative Approach to Good Food Governance and Action through Sustainable Food Places.

Our Vision is ‘A Borough renowned for the vibrancy and diversity of its food culture and celebrated for sustainable food produced from sea, coast, mountains, farms and gardens’.

To find out more click here.

MEA Community Fridges

Community Fridges are a platform for sharing surplus food within a community to reduce food waste going to landfill. They are not means tested and are open to all. Community Fridges differ from the vital role Food Banks play, but can often be a complementary provision.

There are currently just over 100 community fridges across the UK with each fridge sharing one to four tonnes of food per month. Each year these community fridges can redistribute 975 tonnes of food surplus (equivalent to 1.9 million meals) and benefit up to 77,500 people.

Council secured funding through the Department of Communities (DfC) Covid-19 Food Partnership Fund to support the development of a community fridge network in Mid and East Antrim. Council has supported four locations to date, and is in receipt of funding to support three more.

Council's Parks and Open Spaces team have delivered the project and are working with Community Fridge volunteers who manage the day-to-day running of the fridges. Local food outlets Tesco, Vivo, ADSA, the Henderson Group and Marks and Spencer have been supporting the initiative with donations.

The premise of a Community Fridge is simple – whatever items are available can be taken by anyone. As well as food sharing, Community Fridges give people opportunities to contribute through volunteering, learning new skills and sharing their existing skills. Community Fridge volunteers have been overwhelmed with the level of support for the project. At one location, 20 volunteers are now opening and closing the fridge each day, collecting food from suppliers, and ensuring the area is clean and doing their best to educate fridge users on food waste issues.

Going forward volunteers and Council will look to more accurately measure kilos of food redistributed monthly which will provide important data.

Find out more here.

Forest Schools

Forest Schools is an exciting programme which began in the Mid and East Antrim area in 2017. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is committed to promoting our parks and open spaces as important educational and recreational resources and Forest Schools is a great way to achieve this. 

The number of Forest Schools in Northern Ireland is increasing and we are proud to be at the forefront of this initiative.

Leave No Trace Principles

The seven principles of Leave No Trace outline ethics to help outdoor enthusiasts, instructors, guides and centres alike to:

  • Value the natural environment;
  • Understand the impact of their activities;
  • Enable them to make decisions to minimise that impact; and
  • Enjoy their activities in a sustainable way.

Visitors to the Park should remember the following elements of the 7 Principles:

Volunteering in your local green space

Our ‘Friends Of’ groups complete a wide range of tasks such as nest box building, tree planting, river cleans, invasive species removal and wildflower planting.

Our ‘Friends Of’ groups are a great opportunity to get outside in the fresh air, meet likeminded people and learn new skills, all the while protecting and improving your local green space.

There are currently 'Friends of' groups meeting at:

  • Bashfordsland Wood & Oakfield Glen, Carrickfergus: Meeting every second Saturday of every month from 10am to 1pm.
  • Ecos Nature Park, Ballymena: Meeting every third Saturday of every month from 11am to 1pm.

There are also a wide range of ‘in bloom’ groups, wildlife groups, and town/village improvement groups in the Borough, we would be happy to put you in touch with your nearest group.


To find out more click here.