The percentage of waste sent to landfill in Northern Ireland in the first quarter of 2013 reached its lowest level in sixteen years.
Some 50.2% of council waste was landfilled between January and March, according to Northern Ireland’s statistics on local authority collected municipal waste.
This represented a decline of 9 percentage points year-on-year and the lowest level since records began in 1997.
Northern Ireland environment minister Mark Durkan welcomed the news, saying: “This is the first time we have reached the point where as much of our waste doesn’t go to landfill, as goes to landfill.”
However, the recycling and composting rate also declined year-on-year for the first time, down from 36.4% to 35.4%.
The decline was mainly driven by a drop in the amount of waste sent to composting, which decreased by over a fifth. The recycling rate continued to increase.
Overall, some 184,613 tonnes of household waste were collected in Northern Ireland between January and March 2013, a decrease of 4.7% in comparison to the same period last year.
“A partnership approach between Councils, householders and my Department is the only way forward to continue the good work which is still best summed up as Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” said Durkan.