£23million is being invested in Northern Ireland with an aim of making recycling easier and improve the quality of material being recycled in the country.
Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) says funding from the Household Waste Recycling Collaborative Change Programme.
The Household Waste Recycling Collaborative Change Programme will be available over the next three years and will assist local councils to transform kerbside recycling and Household Recycling Centre infrastructure and services.
The programme will emphasise quality of recycling, as well as increasing the quantity of recyclates collected, in order to realise the economic potential of recycling to the local economy.
The first tranche of £5.9million is being released in this financial year, 2019/20.
DAERA’s David Small said: “Today’s announcement brings to over £40million, the amount of money we have invested into council recycling services and infrastructure since 2010 and helped increase our recycling rates by 35% equating to over 100,000 additional tonnes of recycling per year from Northern Ireland households.
This funding will provide new or improved services to make recycling more accessible and allow more materials to be recycled by the public
The latest UK waste statistics show that for the first time ever, Northern Ireland’s household recycling has overtaken England’s and is higher than the UK average.
Northern Ireland’s household recycling rate has increased to over 48% in recent years and its landfill rates are the lowest it has ever recorded.
Mr Small continued: “Both the public and our local councils have helped us make great progress in the amount we recycle and in doing so supported both our environment and local economy.
“We hope this latest investment will drive up recycling rates, improve the quality of the material recycled and reduce contamination to raise the value of recyclables and ensure a robust market access.
Mr Small said there is “still much to do” in terms of reducing plastics and food waste and preventing waste from occurring in the first place.
He said: “I am convinced that more can be done and that there is an appetite from the public to do more.
“This funding will provide new or improved services to make recycling more accessible and allow more materials to be recycled by the public.”