Bins and Recycling

New bin collections FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the proposed new collection system?

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is planning to introduce a new waste collection service to approximately 58,200 households.

Households will be notified in writing when the new system is expected to roll out. They would then receive all of the containers they need to dispose of their waste.

The new waste and recycling collection service would include:

  • A weekly recycling collection of separated materials in a wheelie box providing an extra 30 litres of capacity, and removing the old kerbie box scheme.
  • A fortnightly collection of garden waste and food waste in the current brown bin
  • A fortnightly collection of non-recyclable waste in a slimmer 180-litre landfill bin

2. Why is this happening?

When Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne Councils joined together in 2015 this resulted in a range of different types of kerbside collection being delivered across the new Council area with inconsistent collection frequency and range of materials collected. Two dry recycling collection profiles are currently in operation.

This makes communicating with residents on how to use their services difficult. It also means that not everyone can recycle the same materials. Harmonisation of kerbside collections is needed to address these matters.

Council carried out an options appraisal to identify a preferred waste collection model for the new Council area.

The Council needs local resident to fully utilise their new collections.

  • To simplify the process for our citizens.
  • To reduce the impact of our waste on the environment by sending less waste to landfill.
  • To meet the demanding government recycling target of 50% by 2020 and 65% by 2035.
  • To enable most of the waste generated from households to be recycled or composted as the wheelie box and food waste bin system accepts a broader range of materials than the existing recycling bins.
  • To capture better quality materials that can be used by local industry to support and create jobs.

3. What research was carried out to support this change?

Council supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and WRAP have collected large amounts of data relating to the waste being generated by householders. This showed that more than 50% of waste being send to landfill could be recycled using the services currently being provided by Councils.

Waste collected in blue bins increased the possibility of contamination and led to over 200 tonnes of dry recycling having to be sent to landfill each year.

4. When are the changes happening?

A funding application has been submitted to DAERA to cover all the costs associated with changing over to the new collection system.

Once this has been approved, Council plans to start the process of rolling out the new collection system. This would mean the end of the Bryson kerbie boxes. When your area is due to change you will receive a letter with all of the information you need before any new containers are delivered to your home.

5. Where is this happening?

Ballymena and Carrickfergus would be the first to change, with the new wheelie box system and new bins being delivered across these areas.

When this is complete, Larne would start the process. It is hoped that all areas will be on the new system within 18 months.

New Bins and Boxes

1. What is a wheelie box?

A wheelie box is made up of three individual boxes stacked on a set of wheels that can easily be moved to the kerbside. The wheelie box provides 165 litres of recycling capacity each week.

Each box is for the collection of different materials. Separate materials before placing them clean and dry into the correct box.

2. Why did you choose a wheelie box for recycling instead of a bin?

The wheelie box increases the range of materials collected for recycling giving residents a larger volume of recycling capacity per week. The quality of the materials collected is higher due to it being manually sorted at the collection point by our staff.

3. Can I keep my old black bin?

Your current black bin can be retained, however, once you receive your new bin, we would no longer empty your old bin. You can also keep any existing recycling boxes you have.

If you want us to remove your old bin, we will provide you with a sticker which you can place on your bin, and we will remove it for you.

4. What is a food waste caddy?

A food waste bin is a small caddy that you should use to collect all of your household food waste. It is emptied into your brown bin, which we will empty on a fortnightly basis.

Continue to use your kitchen caddy and compostable liners to collect waste food and then place your caddy liners full of food in your brown waste bin.

5. Can I have another brown bin?

Yes, if you are producing a lot of organic waste we can provide you with an additional brown waste bin, however, a 240lt brown waste bin should be sufficient for most households. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for food waste reduction tips

The maximum number of brown bins we will give to households is two, although households with more than this will not have them removed.

6. How do I get new caddy liners?

We will deliver households a roll of free caddy liners up to three times per year. These will be placed on your brown bin. Deliveries generally take place in March, July and November.

Alternative options include using newspaper or kitchen roll to line caddys and these can be tipped into the brown bin along with food waste or the food can be tipped straight into the brown bin.

If you require additional bags, these can be purchased from existing outlets.

7. Will my brown bin still the same size?

Yes, we would not change your brown bin. Our research shows that there is an increased amount of food waste presented in brown bins, once this type of recycling system is introduced. Collections will continue to take place every two weeks.

8. Can I keep my original landfill bin (because I have a larger family/ medical requirement) will I still get it emptied?

Only 180 lire landfill bins will be emptied unless there is a specific requirement for a larger bin due to a medical reason or larger family.  240-litre bins will not be emptied unless they have been assessed and approved by Council.

9. I did not put a sticker on my 240-litre landfill bin but you removed it, can I have my original bin back?

We will return a 240-litre landfill bin to you, but it will not be your original bin as we will not have recorded what address each bin was removed from.

Once we have returned this bin do not put it out at the kerbside for collection. Only one 180 litre landfill bin will be emptied from each household unless additional capacity has been approved by the council.

10. Why didn’t you remove my kerbie boxes?

Council isn’t removing old kerbie boxes but you can use them for storage or overflow materials at busy times such as Christmas.

If you don’t want to keep them, they can return them to the council Household Recycling Centres.

11. Can I have another landfill bin?

With the introduction of a wheelie box you now have more space the dispose of your recyclable and organic waste.

Each household can have one 180 litre landfill bin. If you think you have circumstances which require additional landfill bin capacity, such as additional medical waste or a larger family a council officer can assess your circumstances to see if you meet the criteria for additional capacity.

12. I need more landfill space for medical waste.

You can apply for temporary additional landfill capacity for a medical requirement.

Complete the additional capacity form online or we can post an application form to you. Once we have received this, your application will be assessed and you will be notified if you are eligible to receive additional landfill bin capacity.

13. I have children in nappies, I need more landfill space.

You can apply for temporary additional landfill capacity for children in nappies.

Complete the additional capacity form and return it to Council. Once we have received this, your application will be assessed and you will be notified if you are eligible to receive additional landfill bin capacity.

14. If I buy another / a larger landfill bin will you empty it?

No, each household will have one 180 litre landfill bin emptied unless additional bin capacity has been approved by Council.

If you present an unapproved additional / larger landfill bin it will not be emptied.

15. What if I have an assisted lift?

Existing assisted lifts in the pilot will continue to have their wheelie boxes and organic waste bins lifted as part of their existing assisted lift service.

Read the Press Release on our news section.

• Council had agreed to roll out the triple stack system initially in Ballymena and Carrickfergus areas, with the rollout being funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). 27/10/2020

• Council are awaiting confirmation of funding, which if secured will see the introduction of the triple stack collection system. A timetable for implementation will be made available when funding is received. 27/10/2020