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Funding secured by Council to roll out recycling initiatives

13 March 2020

Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee this week heard that Council has been successful in securing funding from the Household Waste Recycling Collaborative Change Programme of the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to assist in rolling out a range of waste management and recycling initiatives.

Details of the Programme, which was set up by the Department to allow local Councils to improve recycling and composting facilities including the enhancement of household recycling facilities and kerbside collections, was outlined to members.

Conor Canning, Head of Environment, said that a Council funding application was successful in securing £834,822 and would be used for the purchase of an additional 25,000 240-litre brown bins to enable the current green waste collection scheme to be extended across the entire district.

An additional refuse collection vehicle and crew will be required to facilitate the service.

He added that new route optimisation software would be purchased to improve service efficiency and to capture data on waste streams to assist with identifying habitual contaminators and assist the Council in targeting interventions.

Members were also informed how the funding will also enable the roll out of an additional 50 segregated recycling stations within all Council facilitates, similar to those installed at leisure centres and community facilities last year.

Conor Canning explained: “Users will be encouraged to separate and recycle waste in these shared spaces, which is likely to normalize recycling and influence their domestic recycling behaviour. The funding will also be used to purchase 60,000 indoor recycling bags that will be distributed to all households in the district with the aim to make recycling in the home easier and convenient.

“A selection of Council waste vehicles will be getting branded with key messages as part of this project in order to raise awareness and encourage best practise among local residents in an aim to change perceptions of waste.”

Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA commented: “Under my Department’s Household Waste Collaborative Change Programme up to £23 million is being invested into making recycling easier and improve the quality and quantity of material being recycled. This funding of £834,622 to Derry City and Strabane District Council will enable the Council’s current green waste collection scheme to be extended across the entire district, resulting in an additional 4,303 tonnes of compostable green/food waste and additional recyclable material to be collected annually. This not only results in environmental benefits, but by recycling more it will significantly reduce the cost of landfill to the Council.”

The outputs from the programme will assist in realising the environmental and economic benefits of recycling to society, and contributes to Northern Ireland meeting the EU ‘waste from households’ recycling target of at least 50% by 2020.

Welcoming the funding and the report to committee, the Chairperson of the Environment and Regeneration Committee Cllr Brian Tierney said this was a very positive development for Council.

He said the additional garden waste bins would go a long way towards removing green waste from residual collections which in turn will see less tonnage to landfill, increased recycling and composting rate and savings to Council.

He said: “The new software will improve efficiencies and assist in reducing carbon emissions and help us in identifying contamination of bins so that we can improve our education programme to improve recycling rates and reduce costs to landfill.”