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COVID-19 bins and recycling update

Information on which waste services have been suspended, which are running as usual and what to do with coronavirus waste.

Waste and recycling collection services

Most of our waste and recycling collections are running as usual.

  • Collections of black, brown, and blue bins, and purple glass recycling boxes are continuing as usual. Find your bin collection day online.
  • Wheelie box collections for residents in the Castle area of north Belfast have resumed, but you need to sort your recycling differently. Find out more
  • Bryson recycling box collections are continuing as usual, but you need to sort your recycling differently. Find out more (opens in new window).

To help our crews as much as possible, you should:

  • not leave side waste or extra rubbish bags next to your bin, as we can’t collect them
  • sort your recycling properly
  • make sure you wash your hands, before and after handling your bins or recycling boxes
  • wipe the handle of your bin and boxes down after you leave it at your usual collection point
  • follow social distancing guidance
  • make sure disposable gloves are placed into your black bin once you’ve finished using them
  • visit nidirect for more advice on bin hygiene

You must not put items such as used tissues or disposable cleaning cloths into your recycling bins or boxes. This is very important.

Coronavirus waste

If you have suspected, or confirmed coronavirus, follow these instructions before putting items such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths in your black waste bin:

  • double-bag them, tying the bags securely
  • keep them separate from other waste for 72 hours before putting them into your black waste bin for collection

Recycling centres and civic amenity sites

Recycling centres in Belfast have reopened to the public. Temporary arrangements are in place in order to protect your and our staff's health and safety, and to facilitate social distancing in line with the current public health advice. 

  • Recycling centres are open seven days per week. View recycling centre opening hours.
  • You may be asked to provide proof of address as the sites will only be open for people living in the Belfast City Council area. Examples of proof of address we will accept include your driving licence, a utility bill (gas, electricity, broadband supplier), or a bank statement.
  • There may be significant queues and delays, so please co-operate with any traffic arrangements in place and the instructions from staff.
  • Please sort any recyclable waste before visiting the recycling centre. We cannot accept any commercial waste.
  • The only vehicles permitted access are cars, including cars with single axle trailers. Vans or double axle trailers will not be permitted.
  • The number of vehicles on site at any one time will be restricted. 
  • Pedestrians will not be admitted.
  • Temporary traffic management arrangements will be in place at each of our recycling centres to allow vehicles to enter and exit our sites safely.
  • You will be responsible for unloading your own waste to maintain social distancing from staff. Should you require help with a bulky item, we suggest that you bring a passenger.
  • If you are self-isolating or have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) you should not visit a recycling centre. 
  • Civic amenity sites at Agnes Street, Cregagh Road and Springfield Road remain closed.
  • More information on recycling centres   
  • Fly-tipping

    We are aware of reports of fly-tipping across the city and our teams are trying to respond to requests for service as resources allow.

    If possible, we would ask people to report fly-tipping using our online form and we will clear rubbish as soon as operationally possible.

    Visit nidirect website for more information on fly-tipping.

    New bin and recycling box orders

    You can order new bins and recycling boxes as usual. 

    Bottle banks

    A limited number of glass bottle banks remain open at locations across the city.

    Bulky waste collections

    Bookings for bulky waste collections have resumed, with some restrictions in place. Find out more.

    Asbestos collection service suspended

    We're not taking new bookings for asbestos collection.

    Commercial waste

    There is disruption to our commercial services at this time.

    Advice on garden bonfires

    We are advising residents not to burn household waste in their gardens. Burning waste materials in your garden can produce unpleasant smells, soot and dangerous fumes.

    If burning is regular or repeated, it can cause a smoke nuisance which is an offence under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011. Garden bonfires can also be very dangerous and can easily spread. If smoke from the burning materials affects visibility on roads and endangers traffic, it is an offence under the Roads (NI) Order 1981.

    Find out what goes into your recycling bins and boxes and composting.