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Coronavirus: What about my bin collection? Measures NI councils are taking in response to lockdown


Bin collections in some council areas have been affected (Steve Parsons/PA)

Bin collections in some council areas have been affected (Steve Parsons/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Bin collections in some council areas have been affected (Steve Parsons/PA)

Belfast City Council has back-tracked on its bin collection provisions.

Last week the council issued a notice saying only black bins would be collected as a means to allow staff to social distance.

However, Environment Minister Edwin Poots said the council had a legal responsibility to act.

Belfast City Council will now collect brown bins for garden and food waste as well as the black bins. Blue bin recycling collections remain suspended.

The minister has also issued new guidelines on what to do with your personal waste including used tissues and protective gloves if you are self-isolating with the virus.

"We must protect all our essential workers during this unprecedented public health emergency, not least the men and women who ensure our waste is collected and safely processed,” said Mr Poots.

“You can do this by taking a few simple extra steps when dealing with your rubbish or recycling waste such as washing your hands before and after putting your bins out and bringing them in. No used tissues in recycling bins. There are people sorting your waste - please respect their health and safety.

“It’s also very important that if you are self-isolating with the virus that you treat and bag your personal waste like protective gloves, cleaning wipes or cloths and used tissues differently to your normal waste. Let’s keep everyone safe,” he added.

Northern Ireland’s councils have announced a series of measures and changes to services during the coronavirus lockdown.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

Birth registrations have been suspended for three weeks in this council area. The public have been advised to contact the registrar for advice if needed.

The council advised parents to register their child at a GP with the relevant details in the meantime under new permissions given by the Department of Health.

An appointment only death registration service will continue until further notice and can be made via the registrar.

Civil ceremonies and partnerships scheduled up until May 31 have been postponed and registration staff will contact each couple to make new arrangements.

The council has asked that no members of the public visit their recycling centres or civil amenity sites with non-essential waste and that if visited, the public maintain social distancing regulations.

They continue to operate their waste collection service but said this will be kept under review and asked that the handles of wheelie bins be wiped before being left out.

The bulky waste collection service has been suspended.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council

All weddings and civil partnerships in registration offices and approved venues have been postponed until further notice and offices are also closed to visitors without a pre-booked appointment.

The council has also suspended its birth registration services for the next three weeks, but said the registration of deaths is continuing. They requested only one person attend each appointment at a time.

They have advised new parents to register their child with their GP.

Black, blue and brown bin collections continue to take place as normal at this time, however, there may be some disruption to service in the near future, they advised.

Homeowners have been asked to clean the handles of bins and all bulky waste collections have been suspended, along with the closure of household recycling centres.

Mid-Ulster District Council

In Mid-Ulster District Council, births and deaths registrations are being offered in Cookstown and Dungannon only.

Recycling centres are closed and bulky waste collections have been suspended.

The council said they will not be able to facilitate weddings or civil partnership ceremonies in civic buildings until the end of April. This will be under review and may be extended.

They are continuing to offer services such as bin collections and burial services as well as planning and building control applications.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

Residents have been asked to leave their bins out to be collected at the earlier time at 6.30am or the evening prior to collection as part of new coronavirus measures.

The council is continuing to collect bulky waste for those who have booked but said they are not accepting any further bookings.

Birth registration services have been suspended for three weeks and parents have been advised to register their baby through a GP.

No weddings or civil partnerships are to take place and no bookings are being accepted at council offices.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

All recycling facilities have been closed in this council area but bin collections are continuing. The council has appealed to the public to dispose of waste safely if someone in the household is showing symptoms of Covid-19.

All death registrations have been suspended until March 30, with those with urgent queries asked to contact the registrar.

All weddings have been suspended as have birth registrations until mid-April, with parents asked to register births at their GP.

Derry City and Strabane District Council

The collection of bulky waste has been suspended to facilitate essential waste service provision, including the normal bin collection.

Meanwhile, the council's registration of births, deaths and marriages is continuing to operate with some restrictions. Deaths can be registered at the office, the birth of children can be registered at the GP and marriage ceremonies have been suspended.

The council is offering advice to funeral directors on how to deal with funerals during the coronavirus.

Mid and East Antrim

The council has advised that any recycling bins containing used tissues will be left behind by bin collectors. They have asked that bin handles be disinfected before and after being collected and that those self-isolating do not leave out bins.

Household recycling centres are closed and bulky household items will not be collected until further notice.

The council will not be conducting weddings with immediate effect but will continue to undertake death registrations as well as birth registrations, although parents are asked to wait until the baby is five weeks old.

Council offices will be closed to those without a prior appointment.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council

The bin collection service is unaffected in this council area but bulky waste requests, unless already booked, will not be facilitated.

Recycling centres are closed until further notice.

All registration services remain open for births and deaths but the council has asked that only one parent attends. In event of a joint birth with unmarried parents, it is advised to contact the office.

Civil marriages have been postponed and no new marriages will be arranged until further notice.

The council has requested that burials are attended by no more than two people in addition to one member of the clergy and that no service is held at the graveside. Other than burials, cemeteries have also been closed.

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Household collection of bins is continuing as planned although bookings for bulky collections are no longer being accepted nd only existing bookings will be honoured.

The council said they are unable to accommodate death registration in person and said any coronavirus-related deaths can be registered by phone.

Ards and North Down Borough Council

Collection of household bins is going on as planned but may change depending on staff availability.

There will be no special household collections although existing requests will be honoured where possible.

Birth registration services are suspended for three weeks and parents can register children at a GP practice, although they will not be penalised if this is not done within the 42 day period.

There will be no civil marriage or civil partnership ceremonies within the district until further notice but applications for new marriages will be accepted by post.

Registration of deaths are by appointment at Town Hall in Bangor, although it is thought this service will soon operate remotely.

In burial services, the council said they will restrict the number of people attending the graveside to ten mourners only for a limit of 15 minutes while respecting social distancing.

To protect cemetery staff, additional protective equipment has been issued, including face masks, glasses and gloves.

Belfast City Council

Black and brown bins will now be collected in Belfast, while Bryson recycling boxes collection is continuing at present.

The wheelie box trial has also been suspended, affecting around 5,000 households. All recycling centres and civic amenity sites have also been closed until further notice.

Bulky waste collection has also been suspended until further notice.

The public have been advised to contact the registration office to register a death or stillbirth, while the birth of children can be registered at a GP practice.

Weddings and civil partnerships are not being carried out and no bookings are being taken for future ceremonies.

New applications for religious and humanist marriage notices are being accepted by post.

Burials will take place with restrictions limiting the number of people at the graveside to ten and ceremonies to 15 minutes, with social distancing in force.

The chapel at Roselawn Crematorium has been closed and while cremations themselves can be carried out, no friends and families can attend.

Belfast Telegraph