Minister Poots visits Mallusk plant to hear Bryson’s recycling proposals

Bryson Recycling has revealed a proposal that could tackle the climate crisis, slash waste exports, create jobs and help local businesses thrive through a simpler, consistent approach to waste collection.

The plans were discussed with DAERA Minister Edwin Poots MLA during a site visit at Bryson’s Recycling facility in Mallusk on Wednesday (February 9).

With Bryson’s model more than 20 per cent of households in Northern Ireland already have plastics, glass, paper, cans and textiles collected separately on a weekly basis. This ensures that higher quality materials can remain in the country and be recycled by local companies, boosting the economy and creating employment.

Bryson Recycling is owned by the Bryson Charitable Group. It employs over 320 staff, operates 11 recycling centres in Northern Ireland, Donegal, and Wales and provides collection services for garden and residual waste.

Eric Randall (Bryson Recycling) and DAERA Minister Edwin Poots pictured at Bryson Recycling in Mallusk.
Eric Randall (Bryson Recycling) and DAERA Minister Edwin Poots pictured at Bryson Recycling in Mallusk.
Eric Randall (Bryson Recycling) and DAERA Minister Edwin Poots pictured at Bryson Recycling in Mallusk.

The call to introduce a single collection system that pre-sorts materials collected could save local councils £12m a year.

It would also help the environment, boost recycling rates, strengthen the local economy, businesses and communities. It will ensure less reliance on exports and lower both waste generation and carbon emissions in the fight against climate change.

Commenting on the plans, Minister Edwin Poots said: “It is great to visit Bryson Recycling to see first-hand the key role they play in helping Northern Ireland transition to a circular economy. Their work has greatly assisted in contributing towards our current recycling performance and in helping to reduce carbon emissions from the waste sector.

“Whilst there has been a slight downturn in recycling rates during the pandemic, my focus is now on making sure we normalise recycling behaviours and re-establish the positive, upward trend in recycling which existed pre-Covid.

“New recycling targets under the Circular Economy Package have been set at 65 per cent by 2035, but I would like to see Northern Ireland being even more ambitious and achieving a higher recycling rate by an earlier date. I believe it is important to realise the value of recycling to the local economy as well as delivering important environmental benefits. That is why I am keen to develop and implement proposals which will improve both the quality and quantity of recycling in Northern Ireland.”

Eric Randall, Director at Bryson Recycling added: “We believe a single collection system is achievable and will help us reach ambitious recycling targets alongside the best environmental and social outcomes. The recycling industry contributes significantly to our economy and this model offers the potential to grow businesses and the economy further, whilst playing a vital role in helping the environment.

“Currently, around 50 per cent of our waste ends up in a landfill and 65 per cent of our recyclables are exported from NI. Local businesses have no choice but to ship in quality recycled waste to Northern Ireland to meet the demands of their business. A simple, consistent approach NI-wide would enable these manufacturers to access high quality local materials that in turn would benefit the economy, cut carbon emissions and generate employment.

“Through our social enterprise model in the last year, we collected 65,000 tonnes of waste that has enabled substantial investment in the local economy, providing much needed support to the most vulnerable in our society through sister companies, Bryson Energy and Bryson Care.

“Adopting our approach to separate collections and recycling the right way, will benefit the local economy, workforce, and environment. It will save jobs, save money, and lead to dramatic increases in Northern Ireland’s recycling rates.”


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