Northern Ireland: Household waste landfilled decreased, recycling remained static

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Source: Northern Ireland Executive

Belfast, Northern Ireland – Latest statistics on Northern Ireland show that household waste landfilled in July to September 2015 fell to below 100,000 tonnes for the first time. This represents a 4 per cent improvement on the rate recorded last year. It now stands at 38 per cent, the lowest household waste landfill rate ever. This is notable since the amount of waste collected by the councils actually increased by just over 1 per cent or 2,800 tonnes, according to the latest Northern Ireland Local Authority Collected Municipal Waste Management Statistics Report.

Although the tonnage of compostable recycling increased by over 900 tonnes, that of other recycling remained static despite the additional waste collected. This resulted in a municipal recycling rate of 45.1 per cent – a 0.1 percentage point decrease compared to last year.

Most of the municipal waste that had previously been landfilled was instead manufactured into refuse derived fuel and exported to be burnt in energy from waste facilities abroad. Although this is better than landfilling the waste, ultimately it means that the full value of our waste isn’t being realised here.

Commenting on the figures, Mark H Durkan said: “The reduction in landfill is most welcome as it continues to save us money to invest elsewhere. However the fall in recycling, no matter how slight, is disappointing. Just a little extra time to put your recyclable waste in the right container either at your home, a Council recycling centre or one of the many ‘bring banks’ across the North will make a significant difference. Not only are there many facilities available but the range of materials that can be recycled is increasing – check out your new local councils’ website to see what more you can do. Finally, to all those people already committed to improving both our environment & economy by recycling, thank you.”

Source: Northern Ireland Executive