DAERA welcomes significant improvement in Northern Ireland recycling rates

Date published: 26 October 2017

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) today welcomed the latest Waste Management Statistics which showed a significant upturn in household recycling achieving a rate of 50% for the first time across Northern Ireland.

The increase has been achieved through an effective partnership between DAERA, local Councils and, especially, householders across Northern Ireland. With the Department’s help, councils have promoted recycling with the latest initiatives from April 2017 aimed at encouraging householders to recycle their food waste. Through the co-operation of households, the Department expects to see sustained improvements in recycling in the coming months and years.

Philip McMurray, Head of Recycling Policy in DAERA, said “I am delighted to see this improvement in recycling rates in the latest Northern Ireland recycling statistics and I am grateful to local Councils and especially to householders for their continued efforts. However, we cannot be complacent. Recycling your food waste can seem strange at first but for most people it soon becomes second nature. And yet such a simple change can make a huge difference. Keeping food waste out of landfill not only helps prevent climate change, but the waste can be turned into a valuable resource for our parks and allotments and the process has already created jobs.”

Mr McMurray was speaking at an event at Fairview Primary in Ballyclare where pupils demonstrated what they have learned about recycling food waste. The children were keen to highlight that recycling is important all year round, but especially at Halloween when we have extra foodstuffs around. DAERA remains determined to continue supporting councils in their drive to expand food waste recycling to all households across Northern Ireland all year round.

Mr McMurray added: “Christmas is just around the corner so Halloween makes a good time to practice your food waste recycling habits. Of course, don’t be fooled by the name ‘food waste’. Yes, you should recycle left overs, plate scrapings, tea-bags etc but you can also recycle all the bits that you wouldn’t normally eat – meat, chicken and fish bones, peelings, cores, stalks and seeds and when you’ve finished with your Halloween pumpkin or turnip and it looks a bit tired and sad put it in your food waste recycling. And remember just because food has gone off – sometimes there really is too much at Halloween and Christmas – it’s still OK to recycle it, just make sure to remove any packaging first.”

Download more information about recycling waste and food waste.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption - Recycling is child's play: Top marks for P1 pupil Kali Gunnion of Fairview Primary School, Ballyclare, Co.Antrim and fellow pupils in promoting the recycling of household food waste from halloween parties, as new figures published by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) reveal that household recycling has reached 50% for the first time across NI. Pictured witht he pupils are Philip McMurray from DAERA and teacher Ms Staniforth. 
  2. The provisional NI Local Authority Collected Municipal Waste Management Statistics April-June 2017 are published today Thursday 26 October 2017 and are the first full quarter results since the 1 April 2017 implementation date within the Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 for the separate collection of food waste from domestic properties.
  3. Download the Northern Ireland local authority collected municipal waste management statistics April to June 2017 quarterly report.
  4. The household waste recycling (preparing for reuse, dry recycling and composting) rate for April-June 2017 is 50.0%. This compares to a recycling rate of 46.4% for April-June 2016. The rate of household waste sent to landfill has seen a drop comparable to the increase in recycling and has fallen to an all-time low for the April-June quarter reaching just 32.2%.
  5. DAERA funding has been important in supporting NI Councils to provide kerbside food waste recycling services in order to support the implementation of the NI Food Waste Regulations. Although some areas in NI do not yet have a kerbside service, Councils aim to provide this as soon as possible.
  6. Follow DAERA on Twitter.
  7. For media enquiries about this press release please email DAERA Press Office or phone 028 9052 4619. Out of office hours, contact the EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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