Northern Ireland environment minister Edwin Poots has announced further funding today (6 September) to boost recycling rates across Northern Ireland.
This takes the total amount made available by the Department for Environment in Northern Ireland for projects to reduce landfill through recycling and reuse to more than £5m this year.
Poots announced £2.83m of capital funding for 16 successful projects from the first round of the Rethink Waste Fund, and also that he has earmarked £2.3m for further recycling initiatives.
It is estimated that the 16 projects alone will divert 12,000 tonnes of waste from landfill each year. This could save ratepayers more than £575,000 every year in landfill taxes.
Poots said: “Waste is an extremely valuable resource and we can no longer afford to ignore this value. The fact that £5m has been secured for recycling in the current financial climate demonstrates that waste is a very important asset for the Northern Ireland economy. The 16 recipients named today have been successful because they have identified how to divert waste from landfill and ultimately save ratepayers money. This is not only good for the economy but has tremendous environmental benefits.”
Among the successful projects was Lisburn City Council, which will be offered a grant to extend the provision of recycling and organic collection services to around 3,000 flats, townhouses and some rural properties which do not currently receive these services. This is due to either inadequate storage space in the normal wheeled bins or access provision for the current refuse collection vehicles.
Poots said: “While much progress has been made in terms of recycling, I am convinced that more can be done and I want to do what I can to assist.
“This is why, in addition to the funding already allocated to the Rethink Waste Fund, I have asked officials to develop proposals for a number of pilot projects covering new and innovative approaches to increasing recycling rates. I hope to be able to make a further announcement on this in the coming weeks.”