Borough needs to get ‘greener’ says O’Loan

Ballymena Borough Council needs to do more to promote recycling to residents in a bid to further cut the amount of waste going to landfill.

That was the view expressed by SDLP Councillor Declan O’Loan (pictured) after touring the local authority’s new amenity site which opens to the public tomorrow, May 29.

While “hugely impressed” by the refurbished facility at Waveney Road, he said Council “still have a long way to go on the recycling front”.

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“Currently we recycle about 40 per cent of our waste which is about the Northern Ireland average. I understand that the next results will show some improvement but there is still a long way to go,” said the Councillor.

“The best Council in the north is at 60 per cent and the DOE has a 60 per cent target for 2020. Even on that figure there is a massive amount of waste going into landfill. I am very open to an energy from waste solution as part of the mix, but it is clearly far preferable to reuse and recycle. It is clearly unsustainable that across the world with consumption increasing that we can use all of these resources and simply dump vast quantities of waste in expensive landfill.

“The big area that I think that Council has to do more on is the promotion of this message,” said Cllr O’Loan.

“Recycling in the home takes time and effort. That means that we have to bring people on board and get them to think that all of this is worthwhile. They have to believe that when they manage all these red boxes they are doing something very important and essential. We need to be almost ashamed of putting anything into the grey bin. We should regret the sight of a waste collection lorry. Indeed I think the time is coming when the grey bin collections should be reduced considerably. I don’t think that Council has done enough on this front and this may also mean a new discussion with Bryson Recycling about where responsibility lies for the promotion of the recycling message.”

Also speaking after the tour, Cllr Roy Gillespie: “This is one of the most improved facilities of its type in Northern Ireland and it’s something I pushed hard for. There’s now great space and safety and I hope people use it.”