Footie card system for binlids proposed

Cllr Stephen Nicholl. INBT 22-147JC
Cllr Stephen Nicholl. INBT 22-147JC

A warning based on a football referee’s card could help solve the current furore over the ‘binlid’ policy in the Ballymena area.

Ulster Unionist Councillor Stephen Nicholl believes Mid & East Antrim Council’s introduction of a ‘closed lid’ policy needed to be ‘better thought out’.

What has been termed a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude by binmen under instructions not to collect waste bins which do not have their lids firmly closed, has caused uproar locally with many ratepayers voicing their anger on social media.

Last week, the Ballymena Times facebook page was a centre for debate on the subject with scores of comments being posted.

Now Cllr. Nicholl says the Council should take note of these complaints.

“I have been contacted by a number of people whose bins have not been collected because the lids have not closed and there is considerable local anger at how the policy was rolled out.

“Council cannot make the assumption that everyone reads all the material put through their door and a gradual implementation over a number of weeks would have made more sense.

“In the first instance where someone’s bin did not close the bin should have been lifted and a yellow sticker attached advising that this would not be done in the future with clearly detailed advice and contact numbers for council.

“If the issue were to arise a second time there should have been a red sticker attached, again with the advice and contact numbers and a commitment from the council to have officers visit the ratepayer to give advice .

“Too many people have been left with no answers and a perception that the service they are getting from Mid and East Antrim is less than they had from Ballymena Council.

“I have asked that everyone whose bin has not been lifted and who contacts the council has their bin lifted in the next few days.

“Ratepayers cannot be left with no bin capacity for the next few weeks.”