Glass recycling scuppered as new lorries can’t fit down street

HOLYWOOD residents have gone without recycling collections for a month – because new council vehicles are too wide to get down their streets.

That’s the case for several residential streets close to the town centre, which are too narrow for a new fleet of lorries Ards and North Down Council purchased to pick up rags and textiles as well as glass.

Previously used glass-only vehicles were smaller and could get down the likes of Spencer Street and Trevor Street without issue.

That’s not the case with the wide lorries recently put into use, especially as both streets usually have cars parked along the length of them during collection times.

Council officials say they’re trying to brainstorm a solution, but admit that finding an answer to the problem is ‘a work in progress’.

During a council meeting last Wednesday night, Green councillor Lauren Kendall revealed that residents of the affected area haven’t had their glass recycling collected in weeks.

“They have been frequently reporting that their glass collections have been missed,” she said.

“These streets are narrow anyway and there’s sometimes inconsiderate parking, but can [officials] let me know what is the long-term plan or solution?”

Council environment director David Lindsay confirmed that the problem stems from larger vehicles the council brought in as part of attempts to increase the amount of material it can recycle.

The wide lorries have replaced old glass collection vehicles, and contain a separate chamber that can handle textiles and clothing.

“We are currently working now on contingency arrangements that will be in place for less accessible and narrower streets and roads,” said Mr Lindsay.

“In the previous system, we had a number of smaller vehicles that were used to access those harder to reach properties; we’re going to have to replicate that.

“Even more so, we’re going to have to come up with an effective way of dealing with those types of properties with the new vehicles.

“That’s a work in progress at the minute, and as soon as we finalise those arrangements, we’ll be starting to put the plans in place to roll out the new kerbside textiles recycling collection.”