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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

MEA Councillors consider reducing caddy bin liners for householders to save £50k

Mid and East Antrim Council sign with brown bin and green caddy bags.

Mid and East Antrim councillors have been counting the cost of providing food caddy bin liners.

Currently, rolls of 50 liners are delivered to households in the borough three times a year during bin collections. The council believes the average household uses 2.9 liners per week but says these are not required to dispose of food in brown bins.

The issue was on the agenda at a meeting of the council’s Environment and Economy Committee on Monday evening for a decision on future deliveries which could see a reduction to two rolls annually to allow for one bag weekly.

Bannside TUV Councillor Timothy Gaston said he would consider any reduction to be “counter-productive”. He warned for convenience, householders would place food in black bins if they have no liners.

“Any reduction is a move from front line service. I think we should stick to what we are doing at the minute,” he stated.

Carrickfergus Castle Alderman Billy Ashe MBE said:

“The more people who participate in this scheme, the more savings we make on tonnage going to landfill. It is in our interests to get 100 per cent of people using them.”

However, he added he was “shocked” at the cost of delivery and suggested distributing three rolls at once. “It is in our interests to get people to participate in the scheme. Rather than looking at the expense, we need to look at the overall outcome.”

Options being considered are three deliveries during brown bin collections at a cost of almost £150k, two deliveries at a cost of £100k during brown bin collection days or £114k for two deliveries during a black and a brown bin collection which is listed as the preferred option in the officer’s report.

Knockagh Alliance Cllr Aaron Skinner commented:

“Here is a report to save £50k. It is a no brainer. The average household uses one per week. It would be ludicrous to do anything else.”

Party colleague Larne Lough Ald Robert Logan remarked: “You always have more bags than you need.”

Committee chair Knockagh Ulster Unionist Ald Andrew Wilson suggested deferring the item until the next meeting.


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