Belfast Telegraph

Recycling on up as homes dump 5% less waste

By Linda Stewart

Household and municipal waste collected by councils has dropped by almost 5% in a year.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood welcomed news that the waste, collected between July and September last year, had dropped in volume since the same period the previous year.

This helped both the household and municipal recycling rates to climb to almost 43% (up almost 1%) and 42% (up almost 2%) respectively compared to the same period last year.

The amounts of both household and municipal waste sent to landfill also decreased by about 10% compared to the same period last year. This means that between July and September 2011 just over 54% of household waste and almost 56% of municipal waste was sent to landfill.

"Not only is it common sense to minimise the amount of waste we produce to allow our councils to spend more money where it's needed most, but from an environmental view, less waste means less impact," Mr Attwood said.

"Whilst the phrase 'Reduce Reuse Recycle' has been around for many years now, it is the foundation of my department's Rethink Waste campaign. I am also pleased to note both the continuing increase in recycling rates and the decrease in waste sent to landfill, and want to thank all those who are doing their bit.

"Together we will make a difference. The challenge for NI is: can we become a world leader in carbon reduction? Do we have the capacity to take our 'clean and green' reputation to a new level? This is where we can go and this is where we should go."

Between July and September 2011 a total of 250,324 tonnes of municipal waste was collected in Northern Ireland, a decrease of just over 4% on the corresponding period in the previous year. Of all municipal waste collected in Northern Ireland, 88% was household waste and 12% was non-household waste.

The percentage of municipal waste sent for recycling and composting was just under 42% - a rise of almost 2% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2010.

Green waste accounted for almost half of the municipal waste collected for recycling, which was more than the proportion accounted for by paper and other recycled waste combined (41%). The remaining 10% was accounted for by glass, electrical goods and cans.

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