The amount of Northern Ireland’s municipal waste sent to landfill has fallen below 100,000 tonnes for the first time, according to provisional statistics.
Latest figures covering July-September 2015 show 38% of local authority collected waste arisings were sent to landfill, two percentage points below the same period the previous year.
However, the country’s recycling rate dropped by 0.1 percentage points compared with the previous year, to 45.1% as waste arisings increased by 1.1% to 255,000 tonnes.
These extra tonnes collected were instead diverted from landfill by being sent for energy recovery, including incineration, which increased by two percentage points to 16%.
Most of the waste previously been landfilled was exported as refuse derived fuel to energy from waste facilities abroad.
Environment minister Mark H Durkan (pictured) said: “The reduction in landfill is most welcome as it continues to save us money to invest elsewhere.
“However the fall in recycling, no matter how slight, is disappointing. Just a little extra time to put your recyclable waste in the right container either at your home, a council recycling centre or one of the many ‘bring banks’ across the north will make a significant difference.
“Not only are there many facilities available but the range of materials that can be recycled is increasing – check out your new local councils’ website to see what more you can do.”