Northern Ireland’s councils have continued to improve their municipal reuse, dry recycling and composting rate, data from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) has shown.
Its statistical tables showed there were 222,481 tonnes collected during January and March 2018, 2.1% lower than the 227,153 tonnes during the same three months of 2017.
Across Northern Ireland, 43.4% of municipal waste was sent for reuse, dry recycling and composting during the quarter – an increase on the 39.7% recorded a year before - while 34.5% was landfilled, 20.1% went for energy recovery and 2.1% was unaccounted for.
The provisional year-to-date figure currently stands at 48.3%. If this level is confirmed by Daera in its annual report in November, it will be likely that Northern Ireland has overtaken England’s household recycling rate, which has flatlined. This could leave England bottom of the home nations table.
Antrim & Newtownabbey had the highest quarterly rate at 48.8% while the lowest was Causeway Coast & Glens Council at 36.1%.
Use of landfill continued to fall, down by 5.3 percentage points to 33.8% in a year and there were 46,273 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill between January and March 2018, against 54,617 tonnes a year earlier.
For energy recovery rate from municipal waste the rate was 20.1%, a 0.6 percentage points fall over the year.
The highest rate was recorded for Newry, Mourne & Down Council at 52.1% and the lowest 6.1% by Ards & North Down Council.
Newry, Mourne & Down Council had the smallest quantity of household waste per person at 100kg, whilst the largest quantity was recorded by Antrim & Newtownabbey Council at 123kg.