Northern Ireland has hit its landfill target a year early, according to latest figures from the environment department.
Landfilled, biodegradable, local authority collected municipal waste dropped by around 40,000 tonnes to 309,792, more than 10,000 tonnes below the Northern Ireland Landfill Allowance Scheme 2012/13 target of 320,000.
Environment minister Alex Atwood said: “Meeting this challenging target one year early is a major achievement and I would like to congratulate councils across Northern Ireland who have contributed to this success.
“These figures indicate how we can stretch ourselves, how the ambition to be a world leader in carbon reduction is not beyond our ambition.”
The change was partly due to a reduction of 35,685 tonnes (3.6%) in the amount of municipal waste collected by the councils and an increase of 14,413 tonnes (4.1%) in the amount of municipal waste sent for recycling (including composting) compared to the previous year.
The amount of household waste collected, which makes up 88% of municipal tonnages, fell 4.1% but that sent for recycling rose almost 2%.