Causeway council have agreed to reopen household waste and recycling centres across the borough.
Councillors voted in favour of the measures following Edwin Poots, the Environment Minister, issueing principles to help councils make the decision.
These set of five principles are:
- Protection of human health and the environment. Protect human health (including the workforce collecting and processing waste material) and the environment from the adverse consequences of waste not being managed effectively (in line with the scientific assessment of the risks and health advice on the approaches that support the controlling of the spread of COVID-19)
- Social equity. Ensuring that proper account is taken of those needing support and those householders with limited storage capacity at their dwellings
- Waste hierarchy. Manage waste in line with the waste hierarchy, in priority order: reduce, reuse, recycle, energy recovery, landfill, unless over-ridden by the need to protect human health and the environment
- Resilience. Maintain the operation of a diverse range of facilities in order to provide resilience if key services are impacted or close down
- Preservation of material flows. Ensure the flow of material to businesses that use recyclate, such as for food packaging, and derive energy from waste
The vote passed with 20 for, 16 against with 2 abstentions and 2 councillors who didn’t vote.
Speaking about the possibility of reopening these waste centres, Minister Poots said:
“Waste and recycling services are critical public services and should be maintained as far as possible in order to protect the health of the Northern Ireland public from a build-up of waste; safeguard the important flow of materials, such as for food packaging; and deliver a low carbon circular economy agenda.
“With this in mind, I have now written to the councils, NIGLA and Arc21, with a set of principles that they can apply when considering if it’s safe to re-open their household recycling facilities.”
It’s not know yet at this time what measures will be in place regards social distanceing or open times at these centres.