We're binning less waste as recycling grows
New figures reveal rate of dumping per council area
Residents in Antrim and Newtownabbey bin more waste than any other council area here, new figures show.
Between October and December last year individuals living in that district dumped an average of 133kg of waste.
By contrast, those living in the Newry, Mourne and Down council area produced the smallest quantity of household waste per capita at 98kg.
The figures were released by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) yesterday as part of its quarterly update on waste management.
The statistics revealed that Lisburn and Castlereagh, with 118kg of waste per person, was the council with the second highest individual household waste.
Derry City and Strabane council, and Causeway Coast and Glens, came in joint third with 116kg per person.
The figures take into account both household waste sent to landfill - rubbish put into the black bin - and waste disposed of going towards reuse, dry recycling or composting. This is anything put into recycling and food waste bins.
Figures showed 230,942 tonnes of waste were collected in Northern Ireland during this period, down from 232,012 tonnes during the same three months in 2017.
One key metric recorded by DAERA is the municipal waste energy recovery rate, a figure which tracks the amount of value gained from waste products when they are converted into energy.
The highest energy rate recovered was in Newry, Mourne and Down at 47.4%, and the lowest was 5% in Ards and North Down.
Waste management expert Alan Strong, who is a visiting professor at Ulster University, said that on some measures, waste management policy was having the desired effect.
"These rates (for recycling) are radically improved from under 10% in 2002," he said.
"The new 11 super councils have greater autonomy and are all working hard to improve waste management."
He added that the recycling figure of 47.7% was better than current figures for England, where rates stand at 43.2%, a decline from the 2017 figure of 43.7%.
He also singled out Mid Ulster District Council, praising its performance in the 'reuse, dry recycling and composting' section with 56.3%, compared with the local average of 47.7%.