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Housing and apartment developments in Belfast: supplementary guidance on waste storage

  1.  Waste collection schemes operating in Belfast
  2. Designing individual waste storage areas for dwellings (houses or apartments)
  3. Designing communal waste storage areas for dwellings (houses or apartments)
  4. Example
  5. Apartment management measures
  6. Useful contacts

You should use this document along with the Local Government Waste Storage Guide for Northern Ireland. It will give you information on the specific waste storage needs for new houses and apartments in Belfast. It does not replace any legislation or remove the need for developers to consult with our Planning or Building Control Services to ensure compliance with relevant policy and legislation. You should still refer to the Local Government guide for the wider design considerations, including location and access. 

1. Waste collection schemes operating in Belfast 

 We operate two main household waste collection schemes in Belfast. One scheme serves 90,000 homes making up the ‘outer’ ring of the city; the other serves the 55,000 homes comprising the ‘inner’ core of the city. Contact us on 0800 032 8100 to confirm whether your new development is located in the ‘outer’ or ‘inner’ city area. 

2. Designing individual waste storage areas for dwellings (houses or apartments) 

Table 1: Waste collection arrangements for dwellings with individual waste storage areas¹ 

  'Outer' city dwellings 'Inner' city dwellings
Type of waste Type of container Frequency of collection  Type of container Frequency of collection
General waste 1 x 180 litre wheeled bin (black) Fortnightly 1 x 180 litre wheeled bin (black) Weekly
Dry recycling 1 x 240 litre wheeled bin (blue) Fortnightly 2 x 55 litre boxes (stackable) Weekly
Organic waste 1 x 240 litre wheeled bin (brown)  Fortnightly 1 x 23 litre caddy  Weekly
Storage space to be allocated per dwelling   1.8m x 1.2m (as per para 2.3 (b) of Technical Booklet J – Building Regulations (NI) 2012)  1.8m x 1.2m (as per para 2.3 (b) of Technical Booklet J – Building Regulations (NI) 2012)

3. Designing communal waste storage areas for dwellings (houses or apartments)

  • i. Use Table 1 on page 13 of the Local Government guide to estimate the total waste which will be generated from the development each week. 
  • ii. Break down the total weekly waste estimate into the various proportions set out in Table 2. 

Table 2: Breakdown of the proportions of the total weekly waste to be accommodated in communal containers (for both ‘outer’ and ‘inner’ city developments)²

General waste 35%
Dry recycling 55%
Organic waste 10% 
  • iii. Establish the capacity needed for each type of waste and identify the appropriate types and quantities of containers 

Use the collection frequency information in Table 3 to establish how much of each type of waste needs to be accommodated: the development will need capacity to hold one or two weeks waste, depending on whether that waste is collected weekly or fortnightly.

Use the container information in Table 3 to select the types and quantities of containers you will use to accommodate the three types of waste. 

  • 1 - This guidance and the space to be allocated applies to typical dwellings comprising up to 3 bedrooms; dwellings with more than 3 bedrooms may require additional space. Contact Planning Service or Building Control for additional guidance. 
  • 2 - This breakdown relates to Paragraph 1.3.1 of the Local Government guide. 

Table 3: Waste collection arrangements for dwellings with communal waste storage areas

  ‘Outer’ city dwellings ‘Inner’ city dwellings
Type of waste Types of container Frequency of collection Types of container Frequency of collection
General waste  Communal 180 litre, 660 litre and 1100 litre wheeled general waste bins are acceptable Fortnightly Communal 180 litre, 660 litre and 1100 litre wheeled general waste bins are acceptable  Weekly
Dry recycling  Individual 240 litre wheeled bins (blue) are strongly preferred, to help maximise recycling and minimise the levels of contamination Communal 240 litre, 660 litre and 1100 litre wheeled bins are acceptable Fortnightly Individual sets of 2 x 55 litre boxes (stackable) are preferred where practical, to help maximise recycling and minimise the levels of contamination

10-box stand (550 litre) + 240 litre bin (blue) ‘systems’ (total 790 litres per system) are acceptable (see photo on page 50 of the Local Government Guide)

For covered storage areas, 15-box stand (825 litre) + 2 x 240 litre bin (blue) ‘systems’ (total 1305 litres per system) are acceptable (this stand consists of 3 tiers holding 5 boxes each, and does not have lids)
 Weekly
Organic waste   Communal 140 litre wheeled bins (brown) are acceptable Fortnightly    Weekly
Total space to be allocated  See Chapter 4 of the Local Government Guide See Chapter 4 of the Local Government Guide
The footprint for a 10-box or 15-box stand is 92” x 22” (234cm x 56cm).

4. Example

For an apartment building containing 60 units, made up of 20 x 1-bed apartments, 20 x 2-bed apartments and 20 x 3-bed apartments: 

The waste generated per week is calculated as follows (using Table 1 on p.13 of the Local Government Guide):

1-bed apartments 20 x (70 + 30) 2,000 litres
2-bed apartments 20 x (140 + 30)  3,400 litres 
3-bed apartments  20 x (210 + 30)  4,800 litres
Total capacity needed     10,200 litres  

Use the information provided in Table 2 of this supplementary guidance to work out how much of each type of waste is generated each week. Use Table 3 to establish whether capacity is needed for one week’s waste or two weeks’ waste, and how many bins are needed. 

Table 4 shows how the information is applied for an outer city development, and Table 5 shows the workings for an inner city development (note that the left half of each table is the same). 

Table 4: Outer city apartments example solution

Total weekly waste (using Table 1 on p13 of the Local Government Guide)   Type of waste  Weekly breakdown (using Table 2 of this supplementary guidance) Capacity needed (using Table 3 of this supplementary guidance)  Containers needed (example solution, using Table 3 of this supplementary guidance) 
20 x (70 + 30))
+ (20 x (140 + 30))
+ (20 x (210 + 30))
= 10,200 litres
General waste 35% 3,570 litres   2 weeks (for fortnightly collections) 7,140 litres  7 x 1100 litre general waste eurobins 
  Dry recycling  55% 5,610 litres 2 weeks (for fortnightly collections) 11, 220 litres  11 x 1100 litre recycling eurobins
  Organic waste  10% 1,020 litres 2 weeks (for fortnightly collections) 2,040 litres  15 x 140 litre wheeled bins (brown)
The associated space and access requirements are set out in Chapter 4 of the Local Government Guide.

Table 5: Inner city apartments example solution

Total weekly waste (using Table 1 on p13 of the Local Government Guide)   Type of waste  Weekly breakdown (using Table 2 of this supplementary guidance) Capacity needed (using Table 3 of this supplementary guidance)  Containers needed (example solution, using Table 3 of this supplementary guidance) 
20 x (70 + 30))
+ (20 x (140 + 30))
+ (20 x (210 + 30))
= 10,200 litres
General waste 35% 3,570 litres   2 weeks (for fortnightly collections) 7,140 litres  7 x 1100 litre general waste eurobins
  Dry recycling  55% 5,610 litres 1 week (for weekly collections) 5,610 litres 8 x 10-box stands + 8 x 240 litre wheeled bins (blue)
  Organic waste  10% 1,020 litres 1 week (for weekly collections) 1,020 litres 8 x 140 litre wheeled bins (brown)
The footprint for a 10-box or 15-box stand is 92” x 22” (234cm x 56cm).
All other associated space and access requirements are set out in Chapter 4 of the Local Government Guide.

5. Apartment management measures 

We are committed to maximising recycling in the city, to protect the environment, comply with legislation and minimise costs. Maximising recycling and minimising contamination is more difficult in developments with communal bins. Therefore, we expect apartment developers to implement the following measures to make sure that recycling is optimised: 

  1. Manage waste storage areas so that there is always enough space available for residual waste, dry recycling and food waste, and that this is accessible at all times. 
  2. Provide information and signage for tenants about the waste management arrangements and which items should be placed in which bin. 
  3. Co-operate with us to promote recycling among residents.
  4. Make sure tenants comply with waste and recycling arrangements as a condition of their tenancy agreement. 

6. Useful contacts 

 Query  Contact
For more help applying the guidance Planning Service
0300 200 7830
Building Control 
028 9027 0650
To find out whether a new development is in the outer city or inner city area Waste Management Call Centre
0800 032 8100
To order bins, boxes or food waste caddies
To get a letter confirming the collection system for a development
For queries or issues about dry recycling collections in the inner city
For queries or issues about organic waste collections in the inner city
For queries or issues about general waste collections in the inner or outer city Cleansing Services Call Centre
028 9027 0230
For queries or issues about dry recycling collections in the outer city
For queries or issues about organic waste collections in the outer city

 

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