Northern Ireland’s Recycling Rate Rises 3.7%

Northern Ireland’s recycling rate has risen 3.7% compared to last year’s figures, according to new statistics.

Northern Ireland’s councils collected 977,817 tonnes of local authority collected (LAC) municipal waste. This was a 0.8% decrease on the 985,994 tonnes collected in 2016/17.

Household waste accounted for 89.4% of total LAC municipal waste. Belfast generated the smallest amount of household waste per person at 425 kg whilst Antrim & Newtownabbey recorded the largest at 548 kg per person.

In 2017/18, 48.1% of household waste was sent for preparing for reuse, dry recycling and composting, 3.7 percentage points higher than the 2016/17 rate of 44.3%. At council level, rates varied from 42.2% in Causeway Coast & Glens to 54.3% in Mid Ulster.

The LAC municipal waste energy recovery rate was 18.4% in 2017/18, similar to the 18.5% recorded in 2016/17. Newry, Mourne & Down had the highest energy recovery rate in 2017/18 at 49.5% whilst the lowest was 5.5% in Fermanagh & Omagh.

The landfill rate for household waste only recorded a new low of 32.0% in 2017/18, a drop of 4.7 percentage points on the 2016/17 rate (36.7%) and a fall from 72.3% in 2006/07.

There were 171,295 tonnes of biodegradable LAC municipal waste (BLACMW) sent to landfill during 2017/18, 16.2% lower than the 204,380 tonnes sent in 2016/17. In 2017/18, BLACMW sent to landfill equated to 69% of the annual allowance allocated for that year under the Northern Ireland Landfill Allowance Scheme, lower than the proportion of the 2016/17 allowance used (78%) during the previous year.

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