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Council free glass collection service to pubs, clubs and hotels could be axed

Retain, axe or charge - the three options on table for Banbridge businesses

A commercial glass collection service currently available in the Banbridge area could be axed.

Or businesses who avail of the service – like pubs, clubs and hotels – could be charged in future.

These are two of the options to be considered by the ABC Council’s environment committee when it meets on Tuesday night.

The third option under consideration is that the council continues to offer a service, which historically has been available across the old Banbridge Council area prior to the formation of the ‘super-councils’.

Neither Armagh or Craigavon offer such a commercial glass collection.

It was introduced to increase recycling and offer a service to businesses.

But a report to Tuesday’s committee reveals that the increased provision in bottle banks and additional glass recycling by private contractors has resulted in a “significant decrease in demand from the collection service”.

Currently, 36 premises make use of it.

Glass now collected from licensed premises equates to around 130 tonnes a year, with the council’s total glass collected in the borough 3242 tonnes annually.

The report to committee states: “The resources required for this service are a dedicated refuse collection vehicle and a two-person crew.

“These resources are diverted from existing refuse collection or street cleansing staff and, therefore, when council provides this commercial glass collection service, it has an impact on other services.”

It currently costs £498.22 for each run and the service is operating at an annual loss of £8597.28.

The committee will be asked to decide whether or not to scrap or continue the service, or continue and charge, which would mean a fee of £7.20 a bin to recover full costs. This would also be phased at 50 per cent for the first year, moving to 100 per cent the following year, and would require a minimum of 36 customers to ensure no loss, should this option be favoured.

Whichever of the three is chosen by committee would go to the full council sitting later in the month to be ratified.

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