Fifth of waste now incinerated as amount sent to landfill falls
Over one fifth of Northern Ireland's municipal waste was sent for incineration between January and March - a 5.5% increase on the same time last year.
Almost half of Londonderry's municipal waste is being sent for incineration (44.8%), according to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Earlier this year the Belfast Telegraph revealed that more than 100,000 tonnes of waste had been shipped from Northern Ireland for incineration in countries including the Republic, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands and Spain between January and September last year.
DAERA was unable to provide a breakdown of where waste for energy recovery has been sent at the start of this year.
The quarterly report revealed that local councils collected 227,238 tonnes of LAC (local authority collected) municipal waste between January and March 2016.
This was a 4.7% increase on the 217,138 tonnes collected during the same three months of 2015, and was the third consecutive quarter increase.
Household waste accounts for 89.1% of total LAC municipal waste.
Belfast generated the smallest quantity of household waste per person at 101kg, while the largest was recorded in Ards and North Down at 126kg.
The household waste preparing for reuse, dry recycling and composting rate was 38.3% between January and March 2016. This was an increase on the 37.4% recorded during the same three months of 2015.
At council level, rates varied from 44.2% in Antrim and Newtownabbey and Mid Ulster to 32.9% in Causeway Coast and Glens.
Over one-fifth (21.1%) of LAC municipal waste was sent for energy recovery. This rate was 5.5% higher than the 15.6% sent during the same three months of 2015.
The highest rate was recorded in Derry City and Strabane at 44.8% while the lowest rate was 1.4% in Fermanagh and Omagh.
The household waste landfill rate was 40.3%, a notable reduction on the 47.0% recorded during the same three months of 2015. There were 56,440 tonnes of biodegradable LAC municipal waste sent to landfill between January and March 2016.
This was 9.8% lower than the 62,598 tonnes sent between the same three months of 2015 and accounted for less of the annual allowance, 20.4% between January and March 2016 compared to 21.5% in the equivalent quarter of 2015.
The data in the report are based on returns made to WasteDataFlow, a web-based system used by all UK local authorities to report LAC municipal waste.
All figures are provisional until the final end-year validation has been completed.
An annual report with fully validated figures for 2015/16 is scheduled for December.