Reduction in landfill waste as recycling continues to increase

Recycling is on the up
Recycling is on the up

Northern Ireland’s councils are improving when it comes to the volume of material being sent to landfill.

That is what is indicated by the latest quarterly figures, covering October to December, which show that the amount of rubbish councils collected and sent for burial has dropped compared to the same period a year earlier.

The data reveals that just over 50 per cent of municipal waste was landfilled over that period, down by just seven per cent, while the amount being composted and recycled grew from 35.8 per cent to 38.7 per cent.

The amount of waste being collected by councils was roughly the same as the same quarter a year before – just below 220,000 tonnes.

Also the amount of household waste being recycled or composted increased by 2.9 per cent from the same period a year earlier, rising to 39.2 per cent.

The landfilling of waste can pollute the environment and produce gases which contribute to climate change and the Government has made a commitment to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill.

The data in yesterday’s report are based on returns made to Waste DataFlow, a web-based system used by all UK local authorities to report council municipal waste.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “The continued decrease in landfilled waste is important.

“Together with the continued increase in the recycling and composting rate, this shows that as a society we are making more use of what must be viewed as resources and not waste.”

All figures are provisional until a final end-of-year check is done. An annual report, with fully validated figures for 2013/14, will be published in November.