THE local councils’ recycling centres will remain closed for the foreseeable future in a bid to help halt the spread of Covid-19.
Back in March a decision was taken to close all of Northern Ireland’s recycling centres in line with government legislation.
Since then there have been increased calls for the centres to reopen safely due to a build-up of some household refuse and also fly-tipping incidents.
However, both local councils confirmed to The Outlook this week that their facilities remain closed in line with the continued lockdown that was imposed last week.
A spokesperson from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said: “Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) are currently closed however, this decision is continually being reviewed in line with government essential travel restrictions.
“The Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs issued principles and guidance in relation to HRCs on Monday, 27 April.
“The council is currently reviewing this guidance and the implications it will present when it reopens HRCs within the district.”
In the event HRCs do re-open, social distancing arrangements will be put in place to protect both members of the public and council staff.
Additionally, if a decision is made by the council to reopen HRCs, residents will be informed via updates on its corporate website, social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) and through local media outlets.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said its current recycling centre policy had not changed in line with guidance.
A spokesperson said: “The council position in relation to the reopening of recycle centres has not changed, however as circumstances alter the position will be reviewed.”
Lagan River Alliance Councillor Eoin Tennyson said party group leaders recently proposed that the local council’s bulky waste collection service be reinstated in order to ease pressure on households who have accrued additional waste.
Councillor Tennyson said: “Waste collection is classed as essential by the NI Executive and we believe the service can be administered safely in accordance with government guidance and in a manner that is consistent with the overarching public health message of ‘stay home, save lives’.
“We also hope that resuming the service will go some way in tackling the increased fly-tipping we have experienced in recent weeks.
“Recycling centres will remain closed until it is safe and operationally viable for them to reopen, but bulky waste collection will minimise any inconvenience in the interim.”