Northern Ireland councils recycled 42.2% municipal waste last year

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The 2015/15 recycling rate is an increase of 0.2% compared to 2014/15

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has released official recycling figures for the year 2015/16 which suggest councils in Northern Ireland recycled 42.2% of its municipal waste.

The figures were published on 1 December as part of DAERA’s annual waste management statistical report.

The report states that local authorities in NI collected 969,157 tonnes of municipal waste in 2015/16; an increase of 1.9% compared to the year 2014/15 when 951,423 tonnes was collected.

Residential waste accounted for 88.8% of all municipal waste collected by local authorities in 2015/16.

The nation’s recycling rate of 42.2% beats the 2014/15 rate of 42% by 0.2%; a small but sure step in the right direction.

Councils sent a total of 405,414 tonnes of municipal waste to waste treatment facilities to be reprocessed for reuse, dry recycling and composting.

The energy recovery rate from municipal waste increased by 2.7% this year compared to the previous year, with an overall rate of 17.6%.

In terms of individual council recycling rates, Mid Ulster was the top recycler with a rate of 49.6%, while Derry City & Strabane struggled in last place with a rate of 33.3%.

The municipal waste to landfill rate also fell from 42.7% to 39.7% in 2015/16; a 3% improvement.

Environment minister Michelle McIlveen said: “These figures, the lowest for 10 years, demonstrate that the continuing momentum to divert waste from landfill will significantly benefit our environment.”

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