Move means - ‘Farewell bottle bank, hello blue bin’

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Trips to the bottle bank will soon be only a memory for residents of the Derry City Council area.

That’s because in future glass packaging such as bottles and jars can now be disposed of in Blue Bins following an upgrading of the processing plant by the council’s recycling providers Glassdon Recycling.

The announcement was made by the Council last week ahead of Recycling Week 21 -27 June, in which the Council is reiterating its recycling message to the public.

Conor Canning explained that during Recycling Week (the Council will be actively encouraging the public to help reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfill and increase the amount of materials sent for recycling.

He said that by recycling not only are the public helping Council to reduce its waste management bill. It means there’s less waste sent to landfill and a saving in natural resources, as well as a saving in energy and the creation of jobs.

Since its formation almost two decades ago, Toome-based company Glassdon has been at the forefront of developments in recyclin. Their latest expansion means that recycling glass is going to be much more convenient and economic for the ratepayers in Derry.

General Manager with Glassdon, Michael Deeney, explained how the company had expanded their operation to allow glass to be recycled in the blue bin.

“At our MRF plant we have put a new front-end system in. In the past we had a small pre-pick line with two or three people taking out contamination, and separating glass, plastics, metals etc.

“Now we have a bigger pre-picking station and we have a glass breaking screen. The glass goes through rotating, steel stars which smash the glass and allows it to be taken out as a finer, small particle material, away from your bigger pieces of card, paper etc.

“We have a clean-up system which takes o the likes of shredded paper, fine dust, and bottle caps away from the glass, which leaves the glass clean enough to go into the glass sorting plant.”

Benefits

Conor Canning said Derry City Council ratepayers will feel the benefits of the improved service. “Glass is a very recyclable material and a valuable resource that should not end up in landfill.

“Glass has the unique quality of being able to be recycled over and over again without any loss in quality. this 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 to raise recycling rates and save the council money.”

Conor said recycling is important on both economic and environmental grounds.

“Our service providers have new technology is moving on all the time giving us better material quality out of the co-mingled (Blue) bins.

“Papers, magazines, cardboard, alluminum cans, steel cans and the mixed plastics go to a specialist company in England.

“A lot of industries that would traditionally have used raw materials - such as the paper industry, glass industry and even the metal industry - have shifted across to recycled. All of those businesses now operate using approximately 70 or 80 per cent recycled material.

“Paper mills in England would have huge railroad areas where the timber used to come in but they aren’t used any more as they only use recycled paper. The newspaper you read is more than likely made from recycled newspapers, “ he added.

‘Recycle more’

Conor added that it’s important that people recycle as much as they can.

“That’s why we are trying to get as broad an inclusion in the co-mingle bin. We see that as the most efficient way of driving this process, adding convenience for the public and producing costs savings for the Council.

“Glass is anything up to 80 percent recycled. Aluminum and steel cans are mostly recycled. plastic containers will contain 30 or 40 per cent recycled material, the rest virgin material.

“The likes of coloured bottles, such as bleach bottles, plastic bags, wheelie bins will contain substantial amounts of recycled material.

“There are a number of substantial benefits to recycling. It reduces demand on raw materials, like sand and limestone for glass, wood and trees for papers.

“Production from raw materials also takes a lot more energy, particularly glass. It takes a lot less energy to melt recycled glass than it does to melt the raw material so there is a carbon footprint benefit. Recycling glass therefore provides additional benefits in terms of reducing carbon emissions.”

Further details about recycling in the Derry City Council area can be obtained by logging onto the website at www.derrycity.gov.uk/recycle