Black bins set to shrink in size by a quarter but council says waste recycling plan will generate £6.5million savings to be used for better facilities

​BLACK bins will shrink to three-quarters their current size under new council waste proposals in Mid & East Antrim.

A 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 for better public services and facilities in their areas, the Council says.

A current 240 litre bin.


Extensive research carried out by the council, supported by the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), shows that more than 50% of the waste currently being sent to landfill could be recycled using the services currently provided.

The new initiative, which is subject to funding from DAERA, would see the introduction of a new weekly Wheelie Box system, which provides more space for recycling, in addition to a new 180-litre black bin and the existing 240-litre brown bin – meaning an overall increase in waste capacity of 30 litres a fortnight, a council press release said.

A sign on this bin shows it has a 240 litre capacity.


240 litre black bins are currently in use which means under the new proposals they would shrink in size by a quarter.

The Council says 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.

The proposed changes to domestic recycling in Mid and East Antrim will not only improve the quality of the items reaching recycling centres but will allow householders to recycle even more, the council press release continues.

A Council spokesperson said: “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.”

Subject to funding, all 58,200 local households in Mid and East Antrim will be notified as to when the new system would take effect, as well as any guidance and information required regarding the changes.

Ballymena and Carrickfergus would be the first to make the change, followed by Larne.

It is hoped all areas would be using the new system within 18 months from confirmation of funding, the Council says.

More detailed information about using the proposed new weekly Wheelie Boxes can be found on ​

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