EAST Belfast Alliance MLA, Cllr Naomi Long, has said that residents across East Belfast are fed up with collection problems with the new “blue bins” for paper recycling.
Cllr Naomi Long MLA said: “I have been contacted by quite a few residents from East Belfast, who are extremely annoyed that whilst recycling bins have been delivered and instructions for collection circulated, the bins are not picked up on the right day, if at all. In some cases, residents have had the bins for over three months and they have only been collected once, and only then when they had complained.
“Residents who complained directly to Belfast City Council when bins were not collected were generally told that they would have to wait until the next month to have the bin emptied. In the meantime, once the blue bin is full, people either have to go to the Civic Amenity sites to recycle paper or, if they can’t do that, they have to resort to putting their paper in their regular grey bin. This completely defeats the purpose of having the recycling bins distributed in the first place.
“There can be teething problems with any new system, but essentially I am seeing the same problem recurring time after time, as the roll out progresses. Residents have had all sorts of excuses, most of them well-worn and recycled themselves, but have not seen real improvement.
“I have now raised my concerns with the Council Officers responsible for organising the collections and the director of the department is investigating the cause of the problem and has assured me of her commitment to resolve it as soon as possible.
“Recycling unavoidable waste is a crucial part of the Council’s environmental responsibilities and a lot of rate-payers money has been invested in the programme. The vast majority of people I speak to want to see as much opportunity for kerbside recycling as possible. It would be a shame if people’s support for this project was squandered through Council failing to deliver it effectively.”