Waste management

In Northern Ireland local authorities landfilled over one third of all waste collected, almost a half was sent for preparing for reuse, dry recycling and composting and almost 20 per cent was sent for energy recovery, according to the most recent statistics released by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Between July and September 2016, the volume of Local Authority Collected (LAC) municipal waste rose by 3.7 per cent from the same period in 2015 to 267,013 tonnes, of which 89 per cent was classed as household waste. The population of council areas largely correlate with the volume of waste collected and so Belfast City Council remains the largest collector of waste, 17 per cent of the Northern Ireland total. Fermanagh and Omagh had the lowest volume of waste collected (13,561 tonnes), 5 per cent of the Northern Ireland total. Overall most of the councils recorded an increase over the period when compared to the same timeframe last year except for Fermanagh and Omagh, Newry, Mourne and Down and Ards and North Down, who all recorded decreases of over 2 per cent.

 

Recycling

The 128,102 tonnes of waste sent for preparing for reuse, dry recycling and composting between July and September 2016 represent a 48 per cent recycling rate, a 3.2 per cent increase on the same period in 2015. Almost half of the overall waste sent for recycling was household and breaking down this figure 0.1 per cent was sent for preparation for reuse, 21.3 per cent was for dry recycling and 27.1 per cent was sent for composting.

Belfast recorded the lowest recycling rate (40.9 per cent) and the highest rate was recorded in Mid Ulster (55.1 per cent). All the councils except for Lisburn and Castlereagh and Newry, Mourne and Down recorded increases in their recycling rate. 

Landfill

The volume of waste being sent to landfill reduced by 8.8 per cent over the timeframe compared to 2015 rates and the lowest ever recorded rate for the July to September period.

The large recycling rates highlighted for Newry, Mourne and Down, Ards and North Down and Derry City and Strabane were reflected in falling landfill rates. Newry, Mourne and Down’s 8 per cent landfill rate represents an almost 30 per cent improvement on the same period last year.

Ards and North Down and Derry City and Strabane both decreased their landfill rates by 11.5 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively.

In terms of solely household waste, only Belfast and Lisburn and Castlereagh failed to show an improvement when compared to similar figures for 2015.

Energy recovery

The 47,592 tonnes of waste sent for energy recover represent a 17.8 per cent energy recovery rate and is up slightly than the same period in 2015.

 

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