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Ards And North Down

New Solar-Powered Compacting Bins Installed in Ards and North Down

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, with one of the new solar-powered compacting bins in Bangor. Photo Credit: Graham Baalham-Curry

Ards and North Down Borough Council has installed more than 20 brand new solar-powered compacting bins, becoming the first Council in Northern Ireland to install the latest technology in high-tech bins.

Following a successful trial of three similar bins in 2019 – an initiative that was financed by the Council’s innovative Recycling Community Investment Fund – the Council secured funding from the Department for Communities for an additional 22 state-of-the-art bins that have now been installed across the Borough’s town centres.

Thanks to their automatic compacting ability, the 240 litre bins can store up to 20-times more waste compared to standard bins. They also have the ability to send an electronic message to the Council when they are ready to be emptied, resulting in less collections, lower collection costs and less emissions.

In addition, the fully-enclosed design means they are bird and vermin-proof, they can be operated using a foot pedal, and the bins can log how many times they have been used, giving the Council an opportunity to identify the busiest areas.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, said:

“This is a great investment for Ards and North Down. The bins are powered by 100% renewable solar energy so they have zero running costs and they will help to eliminate any unsightly overflowing bins. They will help to keep our public areas clean and they are better for our environment.”

The Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Gillian Greer, said:

“Our new solar-powered compacting bins will make an invaluable contribution to the quality of local visual amenity and environmental protection. They are a great addition to our Borough and combined with the seasonal litter bins that are already in place, they will encourage residents and visitors to Ards and North Down to responsibly dispose of their waste.”

The solar-compacting bins can be found in all of the Borough’s town centres:


  • Pickie Fun Park
  • High Street
  • Bridge Street (x2)
  • Main Street (x3)


  • The Square (x2)
  • Bridge Street


  • The Parade (x2)
  • New Street
  • High Street


  • High Street (x3)


  • Conway Square (x3)
  • Frances Street
  • Regent Street

The new bins will complement those already in place throughout the Borough, including a selection of 25 seasonal litter bins that have been installed at high-footfall locations until the end of August.

Ards And North Down

Veterans Parade Returns to Newtownards on 24 September

Band, Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment. Photo Credit: Ian Pedlow

A parade led by the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment, supported by Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, will form part of the annual Veterans Evening in Conway Square, Newtownards, on Friday 24 September at 7pm.

The event will be hosted by Ards and North Down Borough Council, in partnership with the Royal British Legion, and will recognise the invaluable contribution of men and women from across the Borough who served their country, both at home and abroad.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, said:

“We have many serving and past members of the Armed Forces living in the Borough. This annual event pays tribute to our veterans and it is a time to remember those who served, sacrificed and fought for our freedom. I look forward to the event and hope that many of our residents will line the streets in support of our veterans.”

Starting from Court Square at 7pm, the band will follow a route to Conway Square (via Court Street and South Street) where it will be received by the Lord Lieutenant of County Down.

A Beating Retreat ceremony, with a colourful cavalcade of military music, tradition and precision drill, will then take place, with Royal British Legion veterans parading alongside members of the many regimental associations from the Borough and beyond.

The band will follow a return route from Conway Square to Court Square via High Street, Mill Street, Gibson’s Lane, Regent Street, Frances Street, Castle Place and Castle Street.

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Ards And North Down

‘Chatty Bench’ Installed in Bangor to Tackle Loneliness

Hester Kelly (Good Morning Call Volunteer) with the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, and Dorothy Beattie (Manager, AGE North Down & Ards) on the Chatty Bench in Bangor Castle Walled Garden. Photo Credit: Ian Pedlow

Ards and North Down Borough Council has placed its first ‘Chatty Bench’ in the beautiful surroundings of Bangor Castle Walled Garden.

Designed to help tackle loneliness and support positive mental health within the community, Chatty Benches are popping up all around the country to provide a place for people to come together, chat and connect.

After more than a year of social distancing, the brightly coloured bench is designed to attract attention and encourage people to talk to each other.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, said:

“Chatty Benches are an excellent initiative to tackle loneliness in our community. They provide designated places that encourage people to meet and talk, even if they don’t know each other. The Council will soon install a second bench in Newtownards’ Londonderry Park, so if you feel like you want to chat with someone, simply take a seat on a Chatty Bench.”

Bangor Castle Walled Garden is an award-winning park that holds a prestigious Green Flag Award. It is a popular destination with residents and visitors to the Borough.

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