Bryson Recycling Review of the Year 2020

With the backdrop of the global Coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was an extremely busy and often challenging year for Bryson Recycling. In this Review of the Year we will update you on:

  • How we dealt with COVID-19
  • New services
  • Digital Deposit Return scheme
  • Charities and fundraising     

We continued to provide our essential services throughout the year when we saw recycling levels rise in an unprecedented way as a result of more people being at home and changes in buying habits, with increases in excess of 20% bring collected by our kerbside service and processed by our MRF. 

Our priority was to provide our services in the safest way possible for both the communities we serve and our staff, which resulted in major changes across each one of our ten sites.

We had to change the way we collect recycling through our kerbside service to reduce the handling of materials; our Recycling Centres in Conwy had to close for 2 months during the first lockdown and a further 2 weeks in October, and we also introduced a booking system to limit numbers on site; we introduced new measures at our Donegal Recycling Centres, which stayed open throughout the year and experienced a 20% increase in visitors. We would like to thank all our customers for embracing these new changes.

Our staff were recognised as key workers for working throughout the year and many people left them out pictures and notes (and even a cake) to show their gratitude. We are extremely proud of each and every member of our team and want to thank them for their hard work and dedication during this year.















  • 62,000 tonnes of materials recycled across all our services.  
  • We collected and processed recycling from 60% of homes in Northern Ireland.  
  • We had over 180,000 visitors to our Recycling Centres in Donegal and Wales.


Collecting high quality materials that can be recycled locally remains our main focus, as this is better for the environment, the economy and creates local jobs. To find out more about where our recycling goes please click here.

Our innovative approach to kerbside recycling, using Wheelie Boxes, continued to be rolled out in Northern Ireland, with over 7000 homes in the Lisburn and Castlereagh council areas switching over the service at the start of the year.  To watch a short video about the benefits of our Wheelie Box model click here.


Conwy Garden Waste Contract

In December 2019 we won a contract with Conwy County Borough Council to deliver a new garden waste collection service to their households. The five year contract, with an option for five more years, was launched at the start of 2020 when we started to take subscriptions for fortnightly bin collections. The service was rolled out, including the delivery of 25,000 bins, at the height of the first lockdown with collections starting in April. We now have over 21,000 households subscribed to the service with over 6400 tonnes of garden waste collected and composted since the service started.

Antrim Refuse Collection Contract

We were awarded a five year contract by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council to collect household waste on a fortnightly basis from 22,000 households in the legacy Antrim area. The contract has the option of a further five year extension and commenced in November. We have been working in partnership with Antrim and Newtownabbey Council to provide a kerbside recycling service since 2005 and look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with them.


Northern Ireland, England and Wales are working to implement a joint Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) to increase the recycling rates of drinks bottles and help tackle the littering of such containers. Given the efforts we all have made to make in the home recycling as easy as possible with kerbside recycling collections and the investment made by governments and local councils to design, install and run recycling services, a DRS that then directs consumers to take their bottles back to a different return point will have an impact both on consumer attitude and domestic collections.

We have teamed up with Cryptocycle who are offering a technological solution that will allow DRS to be implemented using existing kerbside collection systems. We believe there is significant potential for this technology

We launch an innovative recycling app called Reward4Waste, in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council,  to help find a simple and effective way for people to return single use packaging ahead of new recycling laws to bring in a Deposit Return Scheme.

Reward4Waste uses unique technology to allow residents to be rewarded for their recycling both at home and on-the-go using their smartphone, and is currently being trialled across 2000 households in Whitehead in partnership with the local SPAR.


Recycling Rewards – Northern Ireland

Each year we join forces with three local recycling companies Huhtamaki, Cherry Pipes and Encirc to support a local charity.  For every tonne collected through our kerbside service, £1 is donated to a nominated charity.

This year’s charity partner is the Bryson Fund, which is delivered by the Bryson Charitable Group. Since the Bryson Fund was launched earlier this year, it has worked to respond rapidly to existing and emerging societal need. It has provided £250,000 support from Bryson Charitable Group’s own reserves to help those severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 5,168 people have received emergency care in the form of home heating and electricity, along with food, essential items, white goods, and emotional support.

Through this initiative, we aim to raise awareness for the importance of recycling and its positive contribution to the communities we live and work in.

Recycling Rewards - Conwy

We are delighted to have extended our popular Recycling Rewards campaign to Conwy this year to coincide with the launch of our garden waste collection service. For every tonne of garden waste collected by our service we will donate £1 to a local charity. Since the garden waste service started in April to the end of November, we collected 6100 tonnes of garden waste, and as a result we donated £6100 to Conwy Food Bank.

Conwy Food Bank is a non-funded voluntary organisation which endeavours to feed people living in the County of Conwy who are in crisis and unable to afford food.

We want to thank everyone who has used our garden waste collection service this year which has allowed us to donate this amount to Conwy Food Bank who provide vital support to individuals and families in the Conwy area.

School Bikes for Africa

During October we collected old and unused bikes at our Recycling Centres in Donegal for Letterkenny Rotary Club’s School Bikes for Africa Appeal. 150 bikes were collected and sent to Loughlin Open Prison in Cavan for repair before being shipped to Gambia to help children get to school safely and give them the chance of a better life.

Charity Donations in Donegal

On an annual basis, our team in Donegal set about collecting recyclable materials that could raise money for local charities in the area. This year the team are collecting copper across all their sites and will make a donation in January to a local charity in the Glenties area.  

We also collect wheelchairs and crutches at all sites and send them on to Haiti for reuse.


We were proud to sponsor the Bryson Recycling Award in this year’s West Belfast Partnership Environmental Awards. The Focus Club in Lenadoon won the award in recognition of their work maintaining and using the community garden at Glen centre where they have grown organic vegetables whilst upcycling a range of pots and other such as old jeans and tyres to create eye-catching ‘planters’.


Kerbside Recycling Contracts

We will continue to provide our kerbside recycling service for 12 months in the Belfast, Mid and East Antrim and Lisburn and Castlereagh Council areas, and for 6 months in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Council area. We are also temporarily collecting blue bins in the Antrim area, with collection starting in November.

Commercial Service

At the end of October we decided to close our Commercial Department that provided collections for businesses and schools. We had been operating this service for over 15 years  and it was a difficult decision for us to make but with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and the growth of our business in other areas it was not viable for us to continue to provide this service. All staff that worked on this service were moved to other areas within the organisation.

Reuse Shop

We opened Reuse Shop at our Recycling Centre in Mochdre in 2018 with the aim of extending the life of reusable household items while generating profits for a very worthwhile local charity, St David’s Hospice. During the last year over 100 tonnes of items have been diverted from landfill, generating much needed income for the charity who provide care for local adult patients with advanced illnesses or those in need of end of life care, and their families.


The health and safety of our staff and the communities we service is absolutely paramount, and we have worked hard to ensure we deliver our services in the safest way possible this year. At the start of the pandemic we established group of COVID response representatives who meet regularly. We have ensured that we have adequate supplies of PPE available to staff at all times and have disseminated public health advice on an ongoing basis.  We also introduced COVID audits to ensure compliance across all departments.

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