Belfast Telegraph

Recycling in Derry is dismissed as 'a joke'

By Donna Deeny

Six months after Derry City Council announced plans to address its poor recycling figures, the distribution of the organic waste bins and food caddies has still not happened.

This is despite thousands of new brown wheelie bins being held in storage at a site in Campsie where they have been sitting for almost two years.

The council said the reason for the delay was because it was still waiting on the delivery of specialist collection vehicles to handle the organic waste produced by households.

Last November, figures released as part of a report on all municipal waste collected by local councils across Northern Ireland showed that Derry was at the bottom of the league for recycling with a level of just 28%.

Campaigner for greener recycling, Paul Hughes, who is standing as an independent candidate in the local elections, described the council's approach to recycling as "a joke".

He said: "Almost two years ago we asked Derry City Council why all these brown bins were being held in storage in Campsie and why were they not issuing them out to people.

"It actually took us to issue a Freedom of Information request in order to find out that the reason all these bins were gathering dust was because there was no appropriate facility to process waste from brown bins.

"Six months ago they announced that it was all systems go and that everything would be in place so that the bins could be used in 2014.

"Derry is a joke in comparison to other councils' approach to recycling."

A spokeswoman for Derry City Council said: "Unfortunately there has been a delay in rolling out the food waste scheme due to a delay with the delivery of the specialist collection vehicles which will be used to collect the caddies.

"These will be arriving within the next 10 days," she said.

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