The changes` which will be rolled out between August and November` will affect inner-city homes currently on a black recycling box collection` as well as apartments with communal recycling facilities.
According to recent research` Belfast could double its recycling rate to 70% if everyone were to use the recycling facilities provided by the council.
Councillor Steven Corr` chairman of the council’s Health and Environmental Services Committee` said: “We need the city’s recycling rate to be at least 50% by 2020` as required by EU legislation. If we fail to achieve that target` the council will face heavy fines and it’s inevitable that those fines will have to be passed on to ratepayers in some way.
“As it stands currently` we could recycle 70% of the waste we produce` but we’re only recycling half of that. We’ve reviewed our recycling service and have tried to come up with the best way for people to recycle at home` while at the same time trying to save council money which can be reinvested in other services` helping to create and sustain jobs and creating a cleaner` greener environment.” Over the coming weeks` council staff will begin calling with people in the areas affected to explain the changes and give advice and information on recycling. Following the visit` each house will also receive a black and red kerbside box for dry recyclables (paper` glass card etc) as well as a kitchen caddy to recycle food waste.
Householders are encouraged to take these boxes into their properties and call 0800 032 8100 to report any boxes which have been unclaimed or left in the street.
The recycling boxes will be collected weekly by the council’s contractor` Bryson Recycling` and a flyer detailing what items should go in each recycle box will be given to residents. There will also be up to date information on the council’s website www.belfastcity.gov.uk/recycling .
The new arrangements mean that by the end of 2013` every single household in the Belfast City Council area will be able to recycle food waste.
Councillor Corr added: “We appreciate that this will be a change for people and it will take a little while for the new arrangements to bed in` but I would encourage everyone to get onboard with us and if they’re not already recycling` to take this opportunity to start.
“Every lorry road of rubbish we take to landfill costs us £900; a lorry load of recyclable waste costs £100 – 90% less` representing massive savings for ratepayers. We need people to do their part and help us make the new recycling service a success.”
In line with the rest of the city` black bin collections in these areas will also change from weekly to fortnightly to allow for the anticipated reduction in black bin waste with the new recycling arrangements.