A fresh £23million is being invested into making recycling easier and improve the quality of material being recycled, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced.
Funding from the Household Waste Recycling Collaborative Change Programme will allow local councils to improve facilities including enhancing household waste recycling centres and kerbside collections.
DAERA’s David Small explained: “Today’s announcement brings to over £40million, the amount of money we have invested into council recycling services and infrastructure since 2010 and helped increase our recycling rates by 35% equating to over 100,000 additional tonnes of recycling per year from Northern Ireland households.
“By working with councils and the public, we are seeing excellent results:
- Latest UK waste statistics show that for the first time ever, Northern Ireland’s household recycling has overtaken England’s and is higher than the UK average;
- Northern Ireland’s household recycling rate has increased to over 48%;
- Our landfill rates are the lowest ever recorded;
- 1.1million fewer plastic bags were dispensed to consumers in 17/18."
Mr Small continued: “Both the public and our local councils have helped us make great progress in the amount we recycle and in doing so supported both our environment and local economy. We hope this latest investment will drive up recycling rates, improve the quality of the material recycled and reduce contamination to raise the value of recyclables and ensure a robust market access.
“There is still much to do in terms of reducing plastics and food waste and, ideally, preventing waste from occurring in the first place. Our environment is a precious and finite natural resource and we must do all we can by reusing or recycling materials to reduce the pressure on it.
“I am convinced that more can be done and that there is an appetite from the public to do more. This funding will provide new or improved services to make recycling more accessible and allow more materials to be recycled by the public,” Mr Small added.
Northern Ireland is required to meet the European statutory ‘waste from households’ recycling target of 50% by 2020.
Notes to editors:
- The Household Waste Recycling Collaborative Change Programme will be available over the next three years and will assist local councils to transform kerbside recycling and Household Recycling Centre infrastructure and services. The programme will emphasise quality of recycling, as well as increasing the quantity of recyclates collected, in order to realise the economic potential of recycling to the local economy. The first tranche of £5.9million is being released in this financial year, 2019/20.
- Between 2010/11 and 2016/17 a total of 116 Rethink Waste (Capital) grants totalling £16.8million were awarded to Councils.
- In 2018/19 a total of 11 further projects were approved for grants totalling £2million to improve recycling infrastructure and services.
- This funding is available for capital costs only such as collection vehicles, bins, improvements to amenity sites or waste recycling centres.
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- All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
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