Guest News Contributor Bryson Recycling
Local social enterprise, Bryson Recycling are urging Councils in Northern Ireland to introduce a Wheelie Box service after the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) announced their Household Waste Recycling Collaborative Change Programme with funds of £23 million to improve recycling rates and material quality.
Many councils are currently considering their future recycling schemes as they aim to harmonise services following the formation of the new super councils in 2015. Antrim and Newtownabbey, who pioneered the innovative Wheelie Box service, introducing it across all households in the Newtownabbey region, have become the top performing council in Northern Ireland with a recycling rate of 52.8%. They are planning to extend the service across the Antrim region next which will further boost their recycling figures.
A number of other councils including Belfast City Council, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council are also considering and planning the introduction of Wheelie Boxes with extensive trials and expansion plans to over 35,000 households starting in the Autumn. This will bring the total number being used in Northern Ireland to 75,000, which could potentially increase to 350,000 if these councils switched all their households over to this service.
Bryson Recycling, who provide a weekly recycling collection service to over 180,000 homes in Northern Ireland, were responsible for bringing this new recycling container to the marketplace, in partnership with leading box manufacturers, Straight plc. Wheelie Boxes have been warmly praised by residents for their ease of use and for enabling a very wide range of materials to be recycled from home.
The aim of DAERA’s Household Waste Recycling Collaborative Change Programme is to make recycling easier and improve the quality of material being recycled in order to maximise the economic benefits of recycling to the local economy. By collecting recycling using Wheelie Boxes, the quality of materials is maintained meaning they can be recycled locally which is better for the environment and the local economy. Over 86% of the materials Bryson collects stay in Northern Ireland to be recycled by local companies such as Huhtamaki, Cherry Plastics and Encirc who employ 750 people, and generate over £100 million each year for Northern Ireland’s economy.
Director of Bryson Recycling Eric Randall said: “We are delighted to see Antrim and Newtownabbey top the recycling polls and commend them for taking the decision to introduce this ground breaking collection service. We need to think differently about our waste – it is a resource, and we need to ensure that we collect and process it in a way that has the least environmental impact and the greatest local economic benefit. We believe the Wheelie Box model has enormous potential to be rolled out across Northern Ireland and that local councils have a real opportunity to make the switch thanks to the support and funding of DAERA”.
The Wheelie Box collection service has been adopted in other parts of the UK, most widely in Wales where this approach to recycling has been identified as the preferred method of collection and has been introduced across many council areas. Wales currently has a recycling rate of 62.7% – the highest in UK, 2nd highest in Europe and the 3rd highest globally.
For further information on Bryson Recycling please visit www.brysonrecycling.org.