Final food waste warning - go green or face a ‘red card’

Food for thought!  Oscar Millar (4) gives the thumbs-up as Julia Pearson (7) demonstrates how to recycle - rather than 'bin' - food waste in Mid and East Antrim Borough. 
Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons
Food for thought! Oscar Millar (4) gives the thumbs-up as Julia Pearson (7) demonstrates how to recycle - rather than 'bin' - food waste in Mid and East Antrim Borough. Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

Ballymena householders have been given an amber waste warning - go green or face receiving a recycling ‘red card’!

Mid and East Antrim Borough’s food waste collection changes have been publicised far and wide and now the serious business of reducing local waste costs is ready for full implementation.

The new bin rules should now have reached every householder within the Borough and from now on householders will be held to account if they fail to comply.

All food waste must now be placed in the appropriate brown bin. Because of legislation changes, householders should not put any food waste into their black bin.

“It’s the law,” said the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE.

“But that’s only part of the story. It saves money - it costs us twice as much to dispose of food waste in a black bin as it does to recycle food waste from a brown bin.

“It prevents environmental damage – food waste that ends up in landfill is the most polluting type of waste due to the release of harmful gases and of course, it helps the environment.

“Crucially, all food waste in brown bins is made into high quality compost that is in turn used to fertilise and nurture the growth of both flowering plants and vegetables such as the humble potato – with peelings for example – going back in to the brown bin and starting the whole ‘green’ process all over again!

“By reducing the levels of food we throw away we can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and also increase the money in residents’ pockets, while also helping the environment,” the Mayor concluded.

Householders may find it useful to line their caddy with a biodegradable bag. Council will supply these three times a year. People can buy more or use newspaper or kitchen roll to line the caddy, but should not use plastic bags as these will not biodegrade.

Householders have been advised that after putting food waste in - and when full - they should remove the bag and knot it and then drop the bag of food waste into the brown bin. Then leave bin outside as normal on collection day by 7.30am, with its lid closed.

It will take Council some time to ensure all requests for brown bins and kitchen caddies are delivered in order to comply with the new policy, but once this is in place, refuse collectors will be keeping an eye on the black bins they lift.

If they find food waste in a black bin, they will place a yellow warning sticker on the bin to remind the householder to place food waste in their black bin.

If they find it a second time, they will place an amber sticker on the bin, with the same reminder.

On the third occasion, refuse collectors will flag that bin with a red sticker noting that the bin was not emptied and the householder will need to remove the food waste before that bin can be emptied as part of the next scheduled collection.

For any further information about the new policy please contact 0300 124 5000 or by e-mailing recycling@midandeastantrim.gov.uk. For more details and updates visit our webpage on www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/recycling