| 12.4°C Belfast

Coronavirus: Long queues as recycling facilities back in action in Northern Ireland

Close

A couple at Balloo Recycling Centre in Bangor

A couple at Balloo Recycling Centre in Bangor

PA

Cars queue to get into Blackstaff Way Recycling Centre in west Belfast yesterday

Cars queue to get into Blackstaff Way Recycling Centre in west Belfast yesterday

PA

A couple at Balloo Recycling Centre in Bangor

The gates of recycling centres were cautiously opened across Northern Ireland yesterday as part of the first steps to ease lockdown.

It was not yet business as usual, however, with various restrictions in place as to what materials households could dispose of.

At the O'Neill Road centre in Glengormley, operated by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, drivers were told to produce identification and turned away if they did not have an appointment.

Belfast City Council warned residents to expect significant delays, and said those attending would need to produce proof of address to be admitted.

The restricted list of items accepted include cardboard, glass and bottles but not other materials like plastics.

In the east of the city, the queue for Palmerston Recycling Centre on the Holywood Road started at 7am with drivers content to wait two hours for the gates to open. First in line was Ken Mills, who said: "I got up this morning thinking, I'll get on the ball here, because I knew it was going to be busy.

"So I've had a two-hour wait, but I don't mind because I am getting rid of a lot of stuff that has been cluttering up the garage.

"It wasn't so much from a clear-out - my daughter moved house and has been buying a lot of furniture and stuff which all comes in a lot of cardboard. She has been storing it in my garage so I had the job of getting rid of it."

Similar early queues were seen at the facility at Blackstaff Way in west Belfast, but the demand eased throughout the day.

At the Ormeau Road centre, cars were also admitted relatively quickly to the facility by the early afternoon.

In Bangor and Newtownards, however, facilities remained busy throughout the day despite Ards and North Down Borough Council urging residents to consider delaying their visit.

Gary Stoops said he had been waiting for more than an hour and 20 minutes at the Bangor facility.

"We've a lot of rubbish to offload after lockdown. We have redecorated a room and cleared out a room," he said.

"We've travelled about 300-400 yards in an hour and 20 minutes in the queue."

He added: "We're off this week on holiday so we thought we'd come down, but I can't believe there are so many people off, whether furloughed or whatever."

Belfast Telegraph