FAQs - Kerbside Waste Collection Services

Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about a new Kerbside Waste collection method recently agreed by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

Stakeholder engagement is ongoing and a 12 week public consultation on equality considerations will be completed in advance of any implementation.

Your waste will continue to be lifted in your current kerbside collection containers until you are notified in writing about any changes to your service.

01. What is happening with the LCCC bin collections?

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has been carrying out work to find the most efficient and effective way to collect waste from households. Consideration has been given to the size and type of containers and the types of materials that residents recycle as well as the costs of collecting, recycling and disposing of waste materials. 

A new method has been agreed based on three bins per household as illustrated below:

  • All recycling will go in the blue bin including glass (this will replace any existing green dry recycling bins)
  • All food and garden waste will go in the brown bin
  • All other waste will go in the black bin (landfill bin)

02. Why is the black bin smaller?

7,000 households already have the 180l back landfill bin and research has shown it is a sufficient size. 

A study has also shown that 55% of the waste that goes into our landfill bins should be recycled or composted. 

03. What if I need additional capacity due to medical waste / children in nappies / a larger family?

Any households that needs more capacity in their waste bins will still be able to apply for additional capacity in line with current practice. 

04. Why does the current method need to change?

There are currently a number of different methods of bin collections and recycling across the council area. We want to introduce one method for all households, supported by an information campaign to help make recycling easier for people to understand and engage in active recycling.

All Northern Ireland councils have challenging recycling targets to meet in the next few years. Failure to meet these targets can lead to significant financial penalties. In 2021-22, our municipal recycling rate was 52% but we need to increase this to 55% by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035.

This new method is easy to understand, allows all recycling to be placed in the same bin and increases the overall household capacity for waste with a focus on recycling.

05. What happens to the bins we have?

When the council is providing you with new bins, they will remove all unwanted containers. Those that are in good condition will be reused or sold and others will be recycled. They will not be sent to landfill.

06. When will the new bins be delivered?

An implementation timeframe has not yet been agreed. The council is carrying out some further engagement and consultation with householders and stakeholders before producing a timeline for rollout. You will receive a letter to your home in advance of any changes to your kerbside waste collections.

Landfill Bins (currently black or blue):

07. Why are you replacing my landfill bin?

By 2035, all councils in Northern Ireland have to send less than 10% of the waste they collect to landfill.   At the moment we are sending around 38% to landfill.  A smaller landfill bin alongside a larger recycling bin will encourage householders to place recycling and composting in the correct bins. 

The latest study of landfill bin contents in Northern Ireland showed that 55% of the waste put into landfill bins should have been recycled or composted.  If waste is put into a landfill bin and shouldn’t have been - then it costs more to treat and dispose of it.  We need to encourage households to use the correct bins for their waste.

This is a picture of a wheelie bin that is colour coded.  The top portion is black representing that 45% of the waste is non-recyclable material and the bottom portion is blue representing that 55% of the waste is recyclable material.

08. Can I keep my current landfill bin and use it instead of the new bin?

If you currently have a 180l landfill bin, you will keep it. If you have a larger landfill bin it will be replaced. Only 180l landfill bins or those with additional capacity that have been approved by the council will be emptied. 

09. Will reducing the landfill bin size result in more fly tipping?

Since 2020, the council has carried out a trial using 7,000 of the smaller landfill bins.  In that time, there has been no reported increase in fly-tipping in the trial areas. 

Recycling Bins:

10. Why do you want to replace my recycling container?

We currently provide a number of different containers for collecting recyclables.  These include kerbie boxes, wheelie boxes and recycling bins. We want to provide all households with the same service, and so a 360l blue bin will become the new standard collection container provided for all household recycling.

Larger recycling bins should allow householders to dispose of all of their household recycling at the kerbside including glass, without having to separate out materials into different containers.  

11. What size is the new recycling bin?

At 360 litres, the new recycling bin (blue) will be 50% larger than our current recycling bins. This extra capacity will allow households to recycle more at the kerbside including glass. The new recycling bin will provide space for all recyclables diverted from the landfill bin and will ensure that there is space for additional materials to be recycled in the future.

12. Can I keep my current recycling bin?

No, all recycling bins will be replaced with new blue bins, so that all households are provided with the same service. LCCC will send out a letter to notify households before new bins are delivered.  A smaller blue bin can be provided, on request. See question 14 below.

13. Why are you changing the colour of the recycling bin?

A range of bin colours are currently in use for the collection of household waste. To make communications more effective and provide the same service to all households, all recycling bins will be blue and all landfill bins will be black.  Blue is the most commonly used colour for recycling bins in Northern Ireland. When the new model is implemented please discontinue using your existing green dry recycling bin.

14. The new recycling bin is too big for me, can I get a smaller bin?

Yes, if you would prefer a smaller bin you can request one. 

Food and Garden Waste Bins:

15. What changes are being made to the food and garden waste bins?

All households who do not already have one, will receive a food and garden waste collection service (240 litre brown bin) collected fortnightly.  

16. I have an outdoor food waste caddy, will this still be emptied every week?

We will no longer be operating a separate food waste collection service - but food waste can be disposed of in the brown bin, alongside garden waste. (If you don’t currently have a brown bin, the council will deliver one free- of-charge on request). We will write to you in advance of stopping this service.


17. I have an assisted collection, will this change?

No change will be made to the assisted lift service currently offered by the council.

18. What consultation has there been?

In 2021, LCCC carried out a recycling survey which received more than 3,000 responses. The survey was advertised online and in local free newspapers delivered to every home.

19. Are there any further consultations?

The council will be carrying out a 12 week equality consultation in summer 2023. Information about this will be on the council’s website and social media to enable you to have your say. Any other comments can be emailed to kerbside@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk