AN online petition is the latest part of a backlash from many people against plans by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council to shrink the size of black bins and bring in a ‘triple stack’ recycling bin system.
There was uproar on social media in recent days about the waste proposals and now Sharon Ramsey has contacted ‘Ballymena Daily’ to say she has started an online petition.
The petition on change.org says: ‘Please sign to retain the freedom to choose the size of bins suitable to your family circumstances. The new bins are likely ideal for single people or couples . We need to retain the right to choose. Tiny bins being foisted upon families by Larne Borough Council is wrong and will lead to inevitable fly tipping. Save our bins now. Please sign.’
Larne Borough Council is the former name of one of three councils which merged to become the current Mid & East Antrim Borough Council.
By Friday evening 313 people had signed the petition.
Comments on change.org included one which said: ‘There is nothing wrong with the bins we have!’
However, Ruth Wilson, a former councillor, commented on the change.org page: ‘The bins have more capacity for effective recycling and ease of lifting by the refuse collectors’.
In recent days Mid and East Antrim Borough Council issued an explanation to householders over plans to introduce triple stack bins.
The new waste collection system will be introduced in Larne, Carrickfergus and Ballymena in a bid to improve recycling rates.
It will mean that householders in all three towns and outlying areas will have the same bins.
The plan has been blasted on social media as “a flop”, a “ludicrous idea” and a “total waste of money”.
Comments suggested that it was “not progress” and would result in more fly- tipping which has increased at beauty spots during Covid lockdown.
Others suggested that the new bins will not be big enough.
Another stated: “We are going backwards. We want to reduce general waste and the cost associated with general waste. We will make recycling more difficult.”
However, the borough council maintains that “triple stack is the way forward”.
Householders will also be supplied with a smaller black bin and a brown bin for organic waste will continue to be used.
A spokesperson, earlier this week, had said: “Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is currently reviewing its waste collection process.
“Recycling means less waste going to landfill – protecting our environment and saving money, which can then be used for services within our community.
“We are seeking funding to introduce a new weekly wheeled box system, which will offer householders a third more capacity to dispose of their recycling, replacing the current recycling boxes and blue bins.
The council believes that the “overall effect will increase the amount of space available for householders to dispose of their waste”.
“It would offer householders an improved service and allowing all the waste collected to be re-used in Northern Ireland, cutting costs and safeguarding our environment.”
“We thank all our residents for their continued recycling efforts, which have placed Mid and East Antrim as one of the Northern Ireland’s top recycling areas.”
The local authority is currently reviewing its waste collection process. The new collection system would take 18 months to two years to fully introduce.
The new triple stack bins will be funded by DAERA (Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs).
Further discussions will take place through the group party leaders on the strategic way forward and a report will be brought back to council.
Four months ago, ‘Ballymena Daily’ revealed the council proposals, at that stage, said black bins would reduce in size by a quarter from 240 litres to 180 litres.
At the time the the council said the proposed new system of waste recycling would see households in Mid and East Antrim play their part in reducing landfill while generating savings of around £6.5million over ten years for better public services and facilities.
The Council had said the changes would make it easier than ever to recycle, with more household items including glass, textiles and household batteries all accepted as well as paper, card, plastic tubs, cans, tins, aerosols and food tins which are currently permitted.
A Council spokesperson said at the time: “Sorting the items into the new Wheelie Boxes means there would be less contamination as the recyclables will be sorted at the kerbside.
“That is very significant because more than 50% of waste currently being sent to landfill could be recycled.
“Estimated savings in the region of £6.5m over 10 years, achieved due to the rollout of the new system, would be reinvested into improved facilities and services across the borough.
“Protecting our environment is key objective for our Council, and we encourage everyone to help us become part of the global change needed to ensure our environment is safeguarded for generations to come.”
More detailed information about using the proposed new weekly Wheelie Boxes can be found on www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/newbinfaqs
Meanwhile, Sharon Ramsey’s petition is at: https://www.change.org/p/larne-borough-council-keep-our-black-blue-brown-bins?recruiter=9505575&recruited_by_id=9089143a-afe0-4dc5-b70c-2f135451226c&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=petition_dashboard