21/07/2011

Waste Recycling Rise Welcomed

Waste management and handling is in focus this week with the latest edition of the Northern Ireland Municipal Waste Management Statistics being published - recording a rise in recycling.

The key points for the quarter January to March 2011 are that municipal waste collected totalled 233,516 tonnes in Northern Ireland, with 88% household waste and 12% non-household waste.

The percentage of the municipal waste sent for recycling and composting was 32.5%.

This is a rise of more than three percentage points compared to the corresponding quarter in 2010.

In all, there were 115 kilos of household waste collected per head of population in Northern Ireland, of which 39 kilos was recycled or composted.

NI Environment Minister Alex Attwood welcomed the figures which show household recycling rates have risen by 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

The quarterly household recycling and composting figures for January – March 2011 are at their highest since statistics began in 2008.

The Northern Ireland Waste Management Statistics for this period also highlight a 5.6% decrease in the amount of waste being landfilled by councils on the same basis.

Mr Attwood said: "I welcome the useful improvements that these statistics demonstrate. The encouraging decrease in landfilled municipal waste is also welcome both environmentally and financially as this will reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and landfill tax costs.

"However I was disappointed to see that the amount of household waste produced in Northern Ireland this quarter has increased by 2.6% compared to the same period last year.
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"This demonstrates that we cannot be complacent. Recycling is one of the many ways that we can make our local area a better place to live and invest and I will be pushing to make Northern Ireland the leader of recycling," he said.

Summary

The document contains statistics for January to March 2011 and summary information on nine key measurements on municipal waste collection in Northern Ireland, with more detailed district council information available.

The quarterly figures are based on provisional data and may change when a final validation is conducted at the end of the financial year.

It also shows that the percentage of municipal waste sent to landfill was approaching 64%.

The proportion sent to landfill for this quarter was almost six percentage points lower compared to that for January to March 2010.

Of the municipal waste collected for recycling, green waste accounted for almost one-third (32%), which was slightly more than the proportion accounted for by paper (30%). Glass and cans accounted for one-tenth.

On household waste collected, just over 23% was recycled and just over 11% was composted.

The overall proportion of household waste sent for recycling and composting (over 34%) saw an increase of more than three percentage points compared to the corresponding quarter in 2010.

The percentage of household waste sent to landfill was just over 62%. This is a reduction of five and a half percentage points on the January to March 2010 figure.

Northern Ireland has an allocation of 469,937 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste that can be sent to landfill in 2010/11.

In the period January to March 2011, a total of 88,276 tonnes of biodegradable waste were sent to landfill, which equates to almost 19% of the annual allocation. For the year-to-date, just over 74% of the allocation has been used.

This is the eighth Northern Ireland Municipal Waste Management Statistics Report, and the fourth for the 2010/11 financial year, and will be updated quarterly.

(BMcC/GK)

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