Christmas market greener than ever
Despite being blanketed in white throughout its festive stay in Belfast, City Hall's ever popular Christmas market was greener than ever.
Traders in the continental stalls managed to recycle more than two fifths of all their waste during the month of business.
Give the recycling rate for the previous year was a modest 5%, the 42% achieved this December has been hailed by the organisers and city councillors alike.
The up turn was achieved with the introduction of a number of environmentally-friendly practices, including recyclable packaging and sending food waste for composting. The initiates were undertaken as part of the European Week for Waste Reduction project.
Councillor Ian Adamson, chairman of the council's Health and environmental services committee, said: "This is a great achievement and is testament to the hard work of council staff and the market organisers and traders, and I hope we'll continue to build on this success at future markets.
"It's also a great example of how by making some small changes, we can improve our environmentally-friendly credentials."
The market's achievement comes after householders across the city set a new high recycling rate of 32% in the last quarter.
Allan Hartwell, director of Marketplace Europe, the company behind the continental market, said: "We are committed to ensuring our markets consider the impact they have on the environment.
"We didn't hesitate when offered the opportunity to sign up to the European Week for Waste Reduction. Our traders wholeheartedly embraced the scheme and we are delighted to see the positive results our efforts have had.
"Being part of this initiative with Belfast City Council has changed the way we recycle for the better and we will continue with our efforts to ensure our traders are mindful of waste reduction."