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Belfast bin collections: Residents fume claiming lack of notice of change

Plus find out when your bin will be lifted

By Jonny Bell

Published 17/10/2016

Bin collection services have been changed, leading to much confusion.
Bin collection services have been changed, leading to much confusion.
Residents claimed they were not informed about the change in bin collection schedule.

Belfast residents hit out at the council after bin collections changed on Monday - with some saying they were not notified.

The council said residents should have received a letter outlining the change to their collection - if indeed it was to change.

It said the move was in order to introduce "more efficient" routes and they would work to minimise disruption.

However, on Monday morning, many residents took to social media to vent their anger saying they had not been informed of the change but yet their collection day had been rescheduled.

In response, the council said it would allow residents to put out extra rubbish  for their first new collection date.

 

Some said people in their area were scrambling around to pull their bins and those of their neighbours out when they heard the bin lorry approach unexpectedly in the morning.

Margaret Lindsay, writing on Facebook, said: "I have spoken to several people who have not received a letter therefore are assuming their day has not changed.

"I would like the council to explain why the communication of the 'biggest change' has not been effectively communicated to users."

Others hit out at the length of time their bin would be collected by the council. One resident said he would have three weeks to wait to have his rubbish lifted.

Rachel Nortcliff-Greer added: "Our street didn't receive a letter and when I emailed, the day has changed. Very poorly organised as we will also miss a pick up for blue bin which would have been collected today."

Deborah McCrystal added: "No letter at BT14 and we now have a change of day plus an extra six days to wait to get our already full black bin emptied.

"Very badly handled, seems no-one was informed of all this."

While Hayley Allen described how residents were scrambling to get their bins out and those of their neighbours in the Knocknagoney area in the east of the city, all because someone "happened to hear the lorry approach".

Others said streets in Belfast were lined with full bins, only for the collection day to have changed to a Tuesday.

"Guessing they haven't been told either," said Nicola Woods, "shocking lack of communication."

And when some went to the council's website to find out of if their collection day had been altered, they were informed the information was "not available".

However, if they called or emailed the council, a response would be made within three working days.

"Typical," said one ratepayer. "Shambles," said another.

Some residents also claimed letters were not received as there may have been spelling mistakes made with the address.

A Belfast City Council spokeswoman said over 160,000 letter were sent out explaining the specific changes and it was investigating why residents may not have received the information.

She said: "The letters were issued on week beginning 19 September, through a third party mail delivery supplier and following complaints we are now reviewing the deliveries with this contractor.

"The letters were reviewed and proofed in detail. We are not aware of any spelling mistakes at the time of print; however, on projects of this magnitude, it is possible small errors such as a typo may have occurred.

“On week beginning 26 September we issued statements to all local press, on social media and posted information online alerting residents to look out for these letters and if they had not received one by 14 October to please call our call centre and we would tell them their new collection day.

“A homepage banner was added to our website on Monday 10 October highlighting that route changes would occur. The information on our website was viewed by 10,582 unique visitors. We also issued social media posts throughout October with these messages reaching approximately 21,500 followers.

“We apologise to residents who may feel ill-informed and we are aware that some households will have a three-week wait for their next collection.

"Therefore, as part of our planning we have made provision so that all residents may present rubbish bags alongside bins with their first general waste collections. Additional recycling materials can also be taken to the nearest household recycling centre."

On complaints that the website link was only in place on Monday morning, the day of the changes, she added: "The information on this link is only valid from today onwards – all our old bin collection days were still valid last week, so therefore our officers were required to migrate the new data system over the weekend and carry out testing – this time was need to ensure the online look up facility was accurate - it was live on our website from 9.15am this morning.

“We would encourage every resident to visit our website www.belfastcity.gov.uk/bins  or contact us on 028 9027 0230 or email refusecollections@belfastcity.gov.uk to make sure they know their new bin collection schedule.”

To find out when your bin collection is click here.

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