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Mid Ulster

New Chatty Bench Installed in Dungannon Park

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean is pictured on the first Chatty Bench to be installed in Mid Ulster, with (L-R), Doreen Bolton, Health and Well-being Locality Lead, Mid Ulster, NHSCT; Neil Gillan, Promoting Wellbeing Locality Manager – Armagh and Dungannon, SHSCT; and Sandra McKenna, Chair of the Mid Ulster Loneliness Network.

Mid Ulster Loneliness Network has placed its first ‘Chatty Bench’ in the Mid Ulster district, with the support of Mid Ulster District Council, marking the start of this year’s Loneliness Awareness Week (14 – 18 June).

Situated in the popular and picturesque surrounds of Dungannon Park, the special bench has been introduced to provide a place for people to come together to have a chat. Two other benches are also included in other sites within the park.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean welcomed the first chatty benches in the Mid Ulster district, saying:

“The restrictions of the past 18 months have exacerbated the experience of loneliness and isolation for many people. Some people may go days or even weeks without the simplest of human contact, so the installation of Chatty Benches here in Dungannon Park is a timely initiative as it seeks to break down that social barrier and allow us all to say hello.

“It is our hope that it will be a way of tackling loneliness by encouraging people who may be experiencing it to connect with others, and for others not experiencing loneliness to recognise that starting a welcomed conversation can bring so much to another person’s day.”

Sandra McKenna, Chair of the Mid Ulster Loneliness Network, said,

“As a volunteer for Agewell I witness increasing levels of loneliness on a daily basis. The Mid Ulster Loneliness Network members are totally committed to addressing this issue through many different initiatives. These are our first Chatty Benches to be installed, and we intend to place more in different towns throughout the district.” 

The project is also supported by both the Northern and Southern Health and Social Care Trusts Neil Gillan, Promoting Wellbeing Locality Manager – Armagh and Dungannon at the Southern Trust added his support for the new benches in Dungannon Park, saying:

“The Southern Trust recognises that loneliness and social isolation can affect anyone, irrespective of their age and stage of life.  We hope the Chatty Benches encourage conversation and makes it easier for people who feel alone to connect with other members of their local community.”

Yvonne Carson, Thematic Lead for Loneliness in the Northern Trust added

“Chatty Benches are designed to help tackle loneliness and support positive mental health within the community. We hope the Chatty Benches will be seen as a place for people to come together to chat and connect and be the first of many in the Mid Ulster district.”

Dungannon Park is a 70 acre oasis centred round an idyllic stream fed lake only 2 miles from Dungannon town centre.  The park is open from 8.30am – 9.30pm from now until October, when it moves to closing at 5.30pm for winter. Further information on Mid Ulster Loneliness Network can be obtained by emailing

Mid Ulster

Mid Ulster Residents ‘Step It Up’ to Secure Top Recycling Spot

Residents in Mid Ulster have certainly ‘Stepped Up’ their recycling and again secured the top spot on the recycling table for the period January – March 2021.

Official Quarter 4 (January – March 2021) recycling rates just released show that Mid Ulster achieved the highest household recycling rate of all 11 councils here with 54.8%, up 4.2% on the same period last year.

To add to this, the district again had the lowest amount of waste sent to landfill out of all 11 councils at 3.8% for the quarter.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Wesley Brown, applauded these results:

“These results demonstrate yet again the dedication and resilience of our residents, during what has been an extremely difficult time for everyone. Their commitment and enthusiasm to recycling has remained resolute and for that, we are tremendously grateful. I wish to also commend and thank our bin collection and recycling centre staff for the valuable roles they play in helping consistently secure this top position.

“In our new recycling campaign we are asking residents to ‘Step It Up’ and to ‘Recycle Right’. This excellent result again confirms that they are indeed doing just that, and doing it very successfully. However, we cannot get complacent. We can all improve our everyday recycling habits to ensure we maintain this leading position and to help protect the environment.”

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Mid Ulster

Mid Ulster Residents Encouraged To ‘Step It Up’ This Recycle Week

Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean is encouraging residents to get behind the Council’s new recycling campaign by ‘recycling right’ this Recycle Week and every week.

Mid Ulster District Council is encouraging residents to ‘Step Up’ their recycling efforts and ‘Recycle Right’ this Recycle Week, 20 – 26 September.

Mid Ulster consistently holds the spot as the top recycling Council in Northern Ireland but there is still more we can do to step up our recycling and help fight climate change.

Latest research from Recycle Now reveals that 9 out of 10 people now recycle.

However, across Mid Ulster 55% of the contents of household black bins are items that can be recycled in the blue and brown bins; including food waste, glass, paper, card and plastics bottles, pots, tubs and trays as well as bathroom plastics like toiletries (shampoo and conditioner bottles, shower gel bottles) and cleaning and bleach bottles.

This is where we can all ‘Step It Up’ and recycle these items right. By doing so we will also be helping in the fight against climate change. Recycling currently saves 18 million tonnes of CO2 every year, which is the same as taking 12 million cars off the road.

Follow these simple tips to make sure you recycle right in Mid Ulster:

  • Recycle more plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays from all around the home as well as metal tins/cans, paper/card and glass bottles and jars. All these items should be recycled in your blue bin and should be clean, dry and loose to ensure maximum recycling can be achieved. Garden and food waste should be recycled in your brown bin and never disposed of in your general waste bin.
  • Never dispose of nappies, food waste, containers that still have food residue or bottles that still contain liquids, in the blue bin.
  • Your brown bin is for the disposal of garden and food waste as well as cold ashes. It should never be used to dispose of general waste or blue bin items.
  • Remember to take larger or more bulky items like electricals, wood and hard plastics to your nearest Recycling Centre.
  • Unwanted clothing and footwear can also be taken to one of the recycling Centres or donated to charity.

Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean, is encouraging everyone across the district to ‘Step It Up’ and recycle even more as part of our everyday lives.

“Mid Ulster residents have demonstrated their commitment to recycling time and time again and it is this passion and dedication that has seen Mid Ulster consistently named the top performing council for recycling in all of Northern Ireland. I want to extend a sincere thank you to all residents, schools and businesses in the district for achieving these fantastic results year after year.

“However, I know there is still more we can do. If we all ‘Step It Up’ and ‘Recycle Right’ by recycling more of the right things, more often, we will increase this rate even further and more importantly help tackle climate change.

“Small but powerful everyday actions, such as recycling more, will have a huge impact on the environment and the planet, helping to protect and safeguard it for the generations that will come after us. Let’s all get behind this campaign and ‘Recycle Right’ this week and every week in the future.”

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