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Northern Irish councils hit 46% recycling in 2015/16 Q1

By 24/10/2016News

Northern Ireland’s 11 councils achieved a 46.4% municipal waste recycling and composting rate in the first quarter of 2016/17 – figures published last week indicate.

The data for April to June 2016, published by Northern Ireland’s Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, indicates that the recycling and composting rate has grown by 1.5 percentage points compared to the same three month period in 2015/16.


Mid Ulster, Northern Ireland’s top performing council, recorded an overall recycling and composting rate of 55.3%. The council’s recycling rate grew by 3.2 percentage points on the 52.1% rate recorded during the same quarter twelve months earlier, with the growth having been attributed to an increase in composting. This composting boost has offset an overall drop of 0.8% in the council’s dry recycling rate.

There was also movement at the bottom of the table which saw the lowest performer – Derry City & Strabane – reach 34.6% recycling, with the council’s dry recycling rate having increased by 3.2 percentage points, and the composting rate having also risen by 1.7 percentage points.

The biggest mover was Ards & North Down, which saw its combined recycling and composting rate jump from 43.2% one year ago to 49.5% in April to June 2016. A 5.1 percentage point increase in composting coupled with a 1.3 percentage point boost in dry recycling was behind the improvement.

Waste arisings

Overall, Northern Ireland’s 11 authorities collected 262,883 tonnes of LAC municipal waste between April and June 2016 the figures suggest. This was a 3.5% increase on the 254,007 tonnes collected during the same three months of 2015.

Of this, a total of 16.0% was sent for energy recovery, an increase of 1.4 percentage points on April to June 2015 with Newry, Mourne & Down sending the greatest proportion of waste to energy recovery at 43.1%.

The household waste landfill rate for the three month period stood at 37.0%, a reduction on the 40.1% recorded during the same three months of 2015. This equated to a total of 52,373 tonnes of waste to landfill during the quarter. This was 6.0% lower than the 55,711 tonnes sent between the same three months of 2015.

Welcoming the figures, Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “It is encouraging that we are continuing to see even more household waste being reused, recycled, and composted across Northern Ireland.

“We all need to continue this good work – not only does it benefit our environment but it contributes towards a wider circular economy. This is where we keep using resources for as long as possible to extract their maximum value before recycling them, with a huge resultant positive impact on efficiency and competitiveness in Northern Ireland.

“As local councils implement changes, such as increasing the range of waste collected at the kerbside, I would encourage everyone to double check to ensure you are not inadvertently disposing of waste that could be recycled or composted.”

Related Links

Northern Ireland’s waste data report

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Source: Waste Managment