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KERBSIDE recycling of textiles is to be made available to residents of Ards and North Down by October this year. 

Textiles are the largest remaining material waste stream which cannot be recycled at the kerbside throughout the borough. 

This service will be added to the glass collection service currently available to householders every four weeks. The council will be taking possession of larger vehicles to improve efficiency of the service and to enable the introduction of the kerbside collection service of textiles. 

The head of Waste and Cleansing Services, Nigel Martin, advised the council’s Environment Committee that the council will take delivery of the first new vehicle in September.

“There is work going on in the background in terms of setting up arrangements for onward movement of textiles and so on,” he added.

Overall, Mr Martin explained, the whole quantity of waste which the council is dealing with has fallen, which probably reflects the current cost of living crisis.

Brown bin recycling, he said, had fallen slightly. “I wouldn’t get alarmed about that because it means potentially people are not wasting food,” Mr Martin remarked.

“We’ve been tracking landfill throughout the year and we are roughly 3,000 tonnes down on the previous year in terms of what is being sent to landfill,” he said.  

The council’s director of environment, David Lindsay said the council had experienced ‘a wee bit of uplift on recycling’, but it was modest.

“It is fantastic we are not dropping further – it seems to have stabilised and come back a bit,” he outlined. “There is some significant way to go yet – we’re still very much in the danger zone”. 

He said there still seems to be some confusion amongst householders as to what plastics could be recycled in the blue bin.

Mr Lindsay In the ‘not too distant past’ the main types of plastics which could be recycled were plastic milk cartons and drinks bottles and higher grade plastics.

“For a lot of householders that’s still stuck in their head,” he said. “Several years ago when we expanded our contract we brought a massively wider range of plastic packaging into the acceptable materials for the blue bin”. 

The type of material which can now go into the blue bin was emphasised when the council launched a campaign to all households in November to encourage recycling. “The council’s communications and marketing team are pushing that particular message through social media to try and heighten awareness,” Mr Lindsay concluded.

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