Northern Ireland achieves 37% recycling rate

9 December 2011

Northern Ireland achieved a 37.4% household waste recycling and composting rate for 2010/11, according to final figures published yesterday (December 8).

The Department of Environment’s report ‘2010/11 NI Municipal Waste Management Statistics Annual Report’ shows an increase of almost two percentage points on the 2009/10 figure when the household waste recycling rate stood at 35%.

Environment minister Alex Attwood believes NI is on track to meet landfill targets
Environment minister Alex Attwood believes NI is on track to meet landfill targets

For municipal waste, waste that is under the ‘possession or control of the council’, the recycling rate was 35.6%. In Northern Ireland, household waste accounts for 88% of municipal waste.

The increase in recycling and composting helped contribute to a 9% drop in the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) collected by councils compared to 2009/10.

This is partly due to a 1.9% drop in the amount of BMW collected by councils, falling from 383,329 tonnes in 2009/10 to 348,674 in 2010/11 and also by a 5.6% increase in the amount of BMW that was recycled or composted.

Commenting on the results, NI environment minister Alex Attwood, said: “This large drop demonstrates the efforts that both householders, through changes to their attitudes towards waste, and local councils, through provision of recycling programmes and facilities, have made.”

The minister stated that he remained confident NI’s council will meet both the NI Landfill Allowance Scheme and the EU landfill diversion targets.

Councils

Magherafelt district council broke the 50% barrier for household waste and recycling as the top council for recycling with an overall rate of 53%. Just under 42% of the council’s waste was sent to landfill with the remainder being used to create refuse-derived fuel (RDF).

Belfast and Derry city council had the lowest household recycling rates at 30%.
The provisional rates for NI’s waste and recycling were released in August 2011 (see letsrecycle.com) and were similar to the final results.

Related links

DOE's report

Lagging

The final figures confirm that Northern Ireland is still lagging behind other parts of the UK. Wales remains the UK’s top country for recycling, reporting a 43.6% municipal waste recycling and composting rate for 2010/11 (see letsrecycle.com).

England meanwhile achieved a 41.2% household waste recycling rate in the same period. (see letsrecycle.com story), while Scotland reported a 38.2% household waste recycling and composting rate for 2010/11 (see letsrecycle.com story).

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