Rubbish which was left outside one of the recycling centres in Derry yesterday.
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, has appealed to the public to be responsible when it comes to the disposal of household waste following the closure of Council recycling centres at the weekend.
Following the latest Government restrictions on movement which came into force at the weekend, the decision was made to close all council recycling facilities to the public.
Increased numbers of visitors to the centres in recent days had raised concerns over social distancing and the unnecessary movement of people in Derry and Strabane.
All 11 sites at Pennyburn, Strathfoyle, Claudy, Glendermott, Strahans Rd, Eglinton, Park, Donemana, Plumbridge, Killen and Newtownstewart are now closed to the public and people are asked to dispose of waste in their regular bin collections until further notice.
Mayor Boyle today said that people should use their blue, black and brown bins as appropriate and that bins collection will be operating as normal.
"I know a lot of people have taken the opportunity to clean up homes and gardens while they have had extra time at home in recent days," she said.
"More people are eating at home, so this is also adding to the volume of food waste being collected.
"I would ask that people are mindful that this is putting additional pressures on Council resources as we try to operate with reduced staff numbers at this challenging time.
"I want to ask everyone to dispose of their household waste responsibly and to refrain from any indiscriminate dumping while recycling centres remain closed. Remember that it's an offence to dump indiscriminately and this is punishable by a Fixed Penalty Notice of a fine imposed by the Courts. Protecting the environment and keeping our streets, laneways and green areas clean are still priorities and we all have a role to play!
"Separate waste as usual according to the recycling guidelines. Our refuse teams will operate regular collections as long as it is possible to do so, and this should be adequate as long as people are not dumping unnecessary additional items.
"Please also remember our frontline staff when leaving out bins, make sure bin handles are cleaned, and if they could be left out a little earlier before 7am this will assist crews in covering all collections.
"If we all work together we can ensure that we make the best use of resources and can continue to provide the best service at what is a very difficult time," she stressed.
Council's Head of Environment Conor Canning said there are a number of ways people can reduce their output of household waste.
"There are ways we can all reduce what we're throwing out, if we're just a bit more mindful when buying food and planning meals etc. Try to reduce the amount of food by exercising portion control, refrigerate or freeze leftovers and throw less away in our brown bins. Plan meals ahead of shopping so less will go to waste.
"When disposing of recycling waste flatten packaging properly before disposal so it takes up less room in our bins. If we all make small changes it will have a big impact on our services."
In keeping with the new government enforcement laws, additional restrictions were also put into place at the weekend regarding cemeteries, with access now limited to pedestrians only.
The Council continues to review all of its services on a daily basis to facilitate as best it can the provision of as many essential services as possible during this challenging period.
The Council appreciates the support and understanding of the public as we continue to do this over the coming days and weeks.
For regular service updates visit www.derrystrabane.com/ coronavirus or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information on recycling visit www.derrystrabane.com/ recycling.
For all queries relating to bin collections and the ordering of bins Tel: 02871 374107.
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