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“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”

Time 2 min read · May 15, 2019

By Shirley Swift

One man's trash is another man's treasure

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, yes, we’ve all heard the phrase, but how many of us think about it when we’re getting rid of unwanted items?

Whether you’re clearing out because you watched the latest Marie Kondo episode, having a general spring clean, or getting ready for redecorating or moving house, have you given much thought to where all your unwanted items will go?

The good news is that most of what you are clearing out can be recycled. Whether it’s broken garden furniture, old bits of wood, or even grass cuttings, by taking it to your local household recycling centre, you’ll be giving it a new lease of life as most items will be recycled into new products. For example, garden waste is turned into compost and metal from small appliances can be removed and reused.

Do you still call it ‘THE DUMP’?

Users of Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) will no longer be allowed to just ‘dump’ items in the general/landfill containers – all items need to be pre-sorted and separated. This is to maximise the amount of valuable waste collected, which will hopefully boost Northern Ireland’s recycling rates.

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Lady recycling clothes

Household Recycling Centres can accept a wide range of materials. But to make your trip as quick and easy as possible, follow the steps below:

S – Sort your unwanted items by material ie separate your plastics from your scrap metal and your paper from small appliances. Sorting your items by material before you leave your house will reduce your time at the HRC. Each skip at the HRC is for the collection of a specific material. When the skip is full, the items will be collected before being transformed into new products.

O – Organise the items in your vehicle so that when you arrive at the HRC you can park beside the relevant skip and unload. This will make your visit much quicker.

R – Re-use: Bulky items such as furniture, bicycles and large electrical appliances can be re-used – look out for the relevant containers.

T – Talk to staff. If you’re not sure about which container to put something in, talk to the recycling centre staff. They’re friendly and helpful and recycling experts!

Last year, Northern Ireland sent 48% of materials for re-use or recycling – great news! But we need to do more to reach the target of 65%. Recycling costs £50 less (per tonne) than landfill, so by pre-sorting and organising items by material, and ensuring we put them in the correct container at the HRC, we’ll save money as well as help the environment.

Did you know there are almost 100 Household Recycling Centres across Northern Ireland?

To find yours, check on our map, pop in your postcode to find your home, then zoom out to see where your nearest HRC is. You can even click on the HRC’s link to find out opening times and what materials are accepted.

Find your local Household Recycling Centre:

View larger map

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If your rubbish bin is overflowing with leftovers, vegetable peelings, and tea bags, why not put it on a diet? It’s easy to do. Recycling your food waste instead of putting it in the bin only takes a little effort and is an easy way to help protect the environment and save your local council money they can spend on local services.


Take action today!

We hope, you’ll share our passion for the environment and want to do something to give the planet a helping hand yourself. We want to inspire you to get curious about and get involved with actions that will be good for nature, our local habitats and species, for ourselves and ultimately for our planet.

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