Is your rubbish getting collected? Is there a strike on no one knows about? Anyone know why the rubbish is getting left uncollected in Belfast since Easter? Is Belfast in the running for the “City of Rubbish”? Did all the lorries break-down at the same time? Is the city really that incompetent?UPDATE: Day 19, 3 days after the bins were due to be picked up, and the bins are still out. The bins have now been collected. We almost made it to a month, Miss Fitz!

To clarify (thanks to Starhound): We put our (black bin) rubbish out on the correct day, over 18 days ago, for the modified Easter collection. Our black bin was then due to be collected early yesterday morning, as usual, and is still sitting on the road waiting to be picked up. This has nothing to do with the Easter collection schedule other than a pathetically weak excuse for the city council’s failure to collect the bins on time. And frankly, given that every other holiday over the years they have been able to be back on a normal schedule the following week (and they had no problem picking up our blue bin last week), I am not buying it. I am, having read the Andersonstown News article, curious how many other Belfast city residents are suffering from this poor service and health hazard.

  • merrie

    Ha. An instance when Belfast is the same as England.

    It seems that it’s longer than a fortnight since the bins were collected in Rusty’s report, but the alternate week collection for recycled/ordinary rubbish just does not work. Down the road from me is an estate where the Council has provided one recycle bin per block to replace four ordinary ones which are always overflowing for a weekly collection, so you can imagine what they are like over a fortnight. The summer may well be stinkin’ hot.

    >>Is the city really that incompetent?<

  • StarHound

    “Yes, if its as Rusty and the Andy Town News has reported, Belfast City is just like nearly all boroughs in the UK.”

    Trolltastic! I suppose you’re saying that this means it’s time for republicans to give up on that United Ireland nonsense forthwith!

    But in the real world this is really a non story : bins aren’t collected on holidays, everyone knows that and is notified in advance. A quiet day on the Newsdesk I fear….

  • miss fitz

    I dunno. I have been making an effort to put less and less in my bin, and started by putting it out fortnightly. I am now able to put it out about once a month and have not come down with a plague of rats or drooling zombies on the street where I live…..

    While its probably an overtime/oversight that this rubbish wasnt collected, I feel very strongly that people should be looking again and again what they are putting into their bins, and how they can genuinely reduce, reuse and recycle. Doing otherwise is a callous act of environmental indfifference.

  • fair_deal

    I haven’t had a problem with my ordinary bin service (apart from one of my neighbours half-inching it for a week). I got the sticker about the different pick up dates.

    However, I have had major problems with my kerbside recycling bin. It hasn’t been picked up for the past SIX weeks. I have left it out on the appointed day but I always return to a full bi. It was suggested to me I wasn’t “putting it in the right place” (whatever that means) but I have placed it everywhere except in the middle of the road and it has made no difference.

  • Rory

    Right on, Miss Fitz! If we went back to those glorious days when everyone had an open peat fire and a pig in the garden most of our our rubbish could be usefully consumed by pig or flame. Any resulting carbon emissions from the fire smoke would be more than compensated for by the massive energy saving in heating costs and home produced organic rashers and crubeens, not to mention the hams and the bacon and cabbage. Begobs! we could even have lovely cailins dancing on the village green and brawny gosoons pucking with their camans about the rolling hills. Bring back De Valera – now he was really Green!

    p.s We could also distil poitin using the potato peelings and we wouldn’t give a feck about global warming = or much of anything else come to that.

  • willis


    C’mon, Where else in the UK would elected representatives support or acquiesce to the burning of wood and tyres in a public space.

  • kerby

    roll on july when the knuckle draggers will burn all our recycled goods in the name of tradition.

  • susan

    Lead on, Miss Fitz! Well said.

    Rory: “We could also distil poitin using the potato peelings”
    Could? “Could”? How on earth else can we reuse and recycle all those Merchants Red Lemonade bottles cluttering up the planet?

  • Dec


    It was suggested to me I wasn’t “putting it in the right place” (whatever that means) but I have placed it everywhere except in the middle of the road and it has made no difference.


  • Pablo

    Its a wonder any of the bins are ever collected. Have you seen the staff absence rates for Belfast City Council (BCC) as recently published by the Audit Office?

    …and to make this farce even worse, BCC is wasting rates payers’ money rewarding staff with an all expenses paid gala dinner to present them with a MAD (‘making a difference’) award in May. If you journos want a story…follow this one.

  • miss fitz

    Me old flame….

    I’ll cure the rashers and you stoke the still and we can sit back to back getting sozzled while the compost self composes and the world goes into a state of chassis before our very eyes. That will be the drink you promised me!

  • andy

    bin collection is directly linked to the ‘post easter blues’ that effects only those involved in the public sector !!

    Its difficult to recycle all your household product in central Belfast when you have a small box that holds 2 cereal boxes and a couple of cans.

    I’m pretty sure that the ever increasing number of apartment blocks in Belfast have no recycling facility of any kind

  • DK

    My bins were collected fine (North Belfast). The only time one wasn’t I rang up the city hall and it was collected the next day (saturday too). So, no complaints here – just call them and they’ll come round.

    Also, if you need a bigger wheelie bin, give them a call and someone will come round, assess you, and then you’ll get one – I did for my recycling bin, as did the neighbours.

  • fair_deal


    ROFLMAO Well spotted

  • Rory

    Forget Dev! All we need is a strong leader who will promise to make the bin collections run on time. Bring back Mussolini!

  • Animus

    I didn’t know you could get a bigger recyling bin – must get on that. We produce far more recyclables than rubbish, yet the bin is nearly half the size.

    The recycling bins are small in much of Belfast because the yards are small. Not sure how to improve on that one. I would replace the big rubbish bin with a recyling bin and let people use a smaller rubbish box. Perhaps that would encourage people not to throw so much recyclable material away.

    Then again, we have to drive to recycle our glass, which seems inane. We moved house a while back and in the old place we could recyle glass. Why not a consistent policy across Belfast?

  • merrie

    Willis: < < Where else in the UK would elected representatives support or acquiesce to the burning of wood and tyres in a public space>>

    On that aspect of rubbish NI is once again unique, but general rubbish collection has become The Big Issue for the local government elections in May.

    There’s even a Campaign for Weekly Waste Collections!!

    See Matt’s carton in today’s London Telegraph and this link:
    This page has a lot of other links listed to get you all the latest on rubbish.

    Even Gordon Stealthtaxman has been involved, raising the tax from £3 per ton to £24 per ton of rubbish left at landfill sites with further annual rises coming. How can anyone think he, as PM, will be a vote winner come the national elections. He’d be popular with the Tories but no one else.

    If I were a Tory or in the media with a bit of spare time I’ll already be writing articles about how he’s stealthed here, there and everywhere – ready for publishing them at the knife-sharpened moment.

  • Hmm…

    The regular bin collection in my bit of North Belfast is OK, but I’m in much the same boat as fair_deal with the recycling box: sometimes they pick it up, and sometimes they don’t (and have completely ignored our request for a bigger box). Looks like I’ll have to go back to taking it all down to the recycling centre on my bike trailer…

    Bryson House, your operation is rubbish! (boom boom)

  • here’shim

    one squad of binmen are up in ams thanks to some change in their round so they are working to rule, ie stopping rounds even if all bins not collected and starting later, finishing earlier etc. but there’s no threat of an all out strike.

  • StarHound

    There are obviously several different stories going on at once here – this seems to me to reflect policy confusion on recycling and waste in general. Belfast has several recycling systems running at once, for example – convincing people to use would be hard enough.

    We know the aim of recycling and most people seem fine with that, if not the effort involved. I think it will only be taken seriously by those currently abstaining when they are made to pay for what they don’t recycle.

    Hilarious as the Daily Mail campaign against “Pay as you throw” was, I don’t see any real alternative – it just needs a bit of political will.

    In response to Hmmmm..above,

    Think laterally, ask for two boxes as I did.

  • Hmm…

    Cheers StarHound: tried that but so far no joy.

    At least things haven’t got as bad as they are down in Castlebar where my sources tell me that bin collection has been privatised in such a way as to allow individual householders to choose their own bin collection service from a range of commercial providers. The genius who thought this up apparently failed to notice that this provides a clear incentive for the tightfisted to stop paying for bin collection altogether and to freeride by just dumping rubbish in their neighbours’ bins (or indeed just anywhere).

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Consider it practice for this summers mounds of trash…