Mid Ulster District Council’s Bin smART recycling campaign has been shortlisted for a prestigious National Recycling Award in the Small Campaign of the Year category.
More than 500 children across the district entered the Bin smART competition, which ran from the end of January to 10 March 2021.
The aim of the competition, which was open to primary-school age children who live, or attend school, in Mid Ulster, was to make children more aware of the items that can be recycled through the blue bin and enhance their understanding of the importance of recycling and re-using our waste.
The competition also gave parents the opportunity to do something more creative with their children during the lockdown and school closures happening at the time.
To enter, children had to create a sculpture out of the everyday recyclable items found in their blue bin with 10 lucky entries winning a brand new tablet.
Entries received included robots, a NASA rocket, a Formula 1 car, replicas of local tourist attractions including Maghera Walled Garden and Beaghmore Stone Circles, animal sculptures, colourful dinosaurs, and many more.
Speaking on the Bin smART campaign being shortlisted for an award, Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Wesley Brown said,
“The phenomenal response to the Bin smART competition surpassed even our expectations so to see it recognised officially with this award nomination is truly amazing and wholly justified! Families in Mid Ulster really got behind the campaign and this showed in the quality and volume of entries received. Children of all ages took part and really got to grips with the recyclable waste in their blue bins to create unique masterpieces. Residents here have certainly shown they are indeed ‘bin smart’ and receiving this prestigious nomination has just validated that further.”
The National Recycling Awards will take place on Wednesday 8 December 2021 at the Hilton Park Lane, London.
Mid Ulster Gift Card Launched Ahead Of Key Christmas Trading Period
A new gift card, designed to ‘lock-in local’ for the key Christmas trading period has been launched by Mid Ulster District Council.
The Mid Ulster Gift Card, valid in over 100 independent and national businesses right across the region, is intended to encourage customers to keep it local when shopping, eating out or enjoying their leisure time, and to boost the businesses in their high streets and main streets at the same time.
The new Mid Ulster Gift card is a ‘win-win’ for customers and businesses, according to Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean:
“Our towns and villages have an unrivalled mix of quality independent retailers, as well as high street names, together with great cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels, and not forgetting the leisure and cultural venues where the card is also accepted.
“That means customers using the gift card have extensive choice and participating businesses help to ensure that we have greater opportunities to lock in spend to the local economy.
“Shopping local to support local companies has never been more important, as our businesses, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors, continue to respond to the challenges of the pandemic.
“Our 100% investment in this project is another strand of our economic recovery plan to ensure we can all continue to enjoy strong, stable and vibrant towns and villages at the heart of our local communities”.
Local businesswoman Sammy-jo Dickson who runs 14th Avenue, a ladies and men’s clothing store in Dungannon, was among the first to sign up to the gift card scheme:
“The Mid Ulster gift card is a great incentive to support your local traders and shop local. This gift card will offer customers the freedom to choose from a great selection of shops and businesses throughout the Mid Ulster area”.
Mid Ulster Gift Cards are available to collect free of charge from Ranfurly House, Dungannon, The Burnavon, Cookstown and The Bridewell in Magherafelt. Customers then upload the amount they wish to add to the card by visiting www.midulstergiftcard.com.
£200K Funding To Improve Access To Leisure And Cultural Facilities
Close to £200K is to be invested in improving access to Mid Ulster District Council’s leisure and cultural facilities.
A total of 11 projects have been allocated funding under the Department for Communities (DfC) Access and Inclusion Capital Programme, which is designed to improve access to and participation in arts and cultural activity and leisure and outdoor recreational activity by people with disabilities.
All 7 of the Council’s leisure and sports centres will have new permanent and mobile ‘hearing loop systems’ installed, with new automatic and power-assisted doors in multiple locations across 4 leisure and recreation sites, including Tobermore Golf Centre, set to improve accessibility for customers yet further.
Greenvale Leisure Centre will have a Pool Pod system installed, giving unrestricted access to both the main and learner pools and ensuring customers requiring hoist access no longer have to pre-book or wait at the poolside.
The Burnavon theatre in Cookstown will use its funding to update its support hearing system and to enhance areas used for workshops and events with adjustable lighting and camera which will be of particular benefit to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sight problems and restricted movement.
The Bridewell Visitor Information Centre will also have existing heavy doors replaced with an accessible system, as well as new permanent and portable ‘hearing loop’ systems.
Outdoors, the funding will bring 10 new accessible picnic tables to picnic areas, parks and open spaces and inclusive play will be improved at the Fairhill play area in Cookstown with the installation of a new wheelchair swing.
Chair of the Council’s Development Committee, Councillor Dominic Molloy, welcomed the funding:
“If we truly want to see all of our residents being able to avail of opportunities to be physically active or to engage in arts and cultural activities and events, then projects like these are crucial to opening up access and building inclusivity.
“I look forward to seeing work starting to create more equitable and inclusive access to the Council’s facilities across Mid Ulster”.
Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey said:
“My Department’s Access and Inclusion Programme is aimed at promoting a more inclusive society by improving accessibility at arts, cultural and active recreation venues for people with disabilities who often have limited opportunities to participate in activities that many of us take for granted.
“The improvements that are being taken forward by Mid Ulster District Council will help to open up these facilities to those with disabilities, providing them with the opportunity to increase their participation at a range of venues.”
All 11 projects are expected to be completed by 31 March 2022.