Recycling and composting rates in Northern Ireland have risen to record levels, it has been revealed.
Around 41% of household waste was reused or allowed to decompose from April to June this year, Environment Minister Alex Attwood said.
The Northern Ireland waste management statistics showed a 15% decrease in the amount of biodegradable municipal material being landfilled by councils compared with the same period last year.
Mr Attwood said: "It is heartening to see that recycling and composting rates are rising.
"These changes made by householders and industry together save us all money and help create an environment and society where citizens want to live, work and invest."
The amount of household waste collected by councils has fallen by 4%. This means 126kg of waste per person, a decrease of 7kg compared with the same period last year.
The weight of recycled and composted household waste remained unchanged, but because of the reduction in the amount of waste generated, the proportion recycled or composted rose to the highest quarterly figure for April to June, the statistics said.
Mr Attwood added: "Biodegradable waste should not be ending up in landfill as it produces a double hit of greenhouse gases and leachate which harm the environment.
"I am therefore heartened to see both this reduction and the good progress made towards meeting our European commitments and targets."