THE weekly trek to the bottle bank is no more.
Derry householders can now throw away bottles and jars via their blue bins instead of recycling them separately as has been the case up until now.
It’s down to a new processing system introduced by Derry City Council which can separate glass material from the plastics and paper and other recyclable material.
Conor Canning from the council’s waste management section said the aim was to encourage the public to recycle as much as possible.
“It’s less than a year since the blue bin service was extended to allow the inclusion of Tetra packaging, plastic food containers, textiles and household batteries,” he explained.
“It now means that the majority of items collected through the Bryson ‘Kerbie Box’ can now go into the blue bin.”
This week is the council’s Recycling Week and people are being actively encouraged to help the council reduce the amount of material that is sent to landfill.
Environmental services committee chairman Councillor Shaun Gallagher said glass recycling rates were improving all the time.
“Ninety percent of the recycled glass in Northern Ireland is used to make new glass packaging such as bottles and jars,” he said.
“The remainder goes into products such as concrete blocks or processed sand which is finely ground glass used in golf course bunkers or glassphalt for road surfacing.”
Michael Deeney, general manager of Glassdon Recycling which will manage the council’s glass collection, said he was delighted to introduce the service to Derry.
“Glass has the unique quality of being able to be recycled over and over again without any loss in quality,” he said.
“That dramatically reduces the use of raw materials and the energy needed to make new glass bottles and jars.
“We hope that the inclusion of glass in the blue bin will really help raise recycling rates and save the council money.”
Julie Hannaway, Waste Minimisation Officer with the Council said that by recycling not only are the public helping Council to reduce its waste management bill and saving natural resources but they are helping save energy, reduce pollution and the amount of waste send to landfill and create jobs.
She added that the blue bins will continue to be collected on a fortnightly basis. A calendar showing the collecting schedules is available from the council website - www.derrycity.gov.uk/recycle - which also provides details about the service and advice on recycling - Blue bins can now be used to recycle most types of packaging, small electrical items, aerosol cans, newspapers and magazines, junk mail and now glass bottles and jars.
Householders are asked to rinse out any food or drink packaging before putting them into the blue bin.
Items which should not be put into the blue bin include food waste, nappies, garden waste, liquids or items made from either ceramics or pyrex.