Household recycling rates hit all-time high

Date published: 24 October 2019

Households here are recycling and composting more waste material than ever before, according to the latest statistics.

Owen Lyttle

Today’s news reveals Northern Ireland has now exceeded its target of 50% recycling by 2020 - 18 months ahead of schedule.

“Householders are now recycling 50.6% of their waste – a huge achievement for all involved. Seventeen years ago when we started to collect the statistics it was at 10%,” explained Owen Lyttle, Assistant Director of Environmental Policy at the Department of Agricultural, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

“Achieving this result reflects a tremendous effort by all those involved in the waste management sector, local and central government, reprocessing sector, the voluntary sector and of course the public.

“Together we have surpassed our strategy target of recycling 50% of our household waste by the end of 2020, putting us in a good place now to focus our efforts on addressing the bigger challenges of climate change,” he added.

Speaking at “The Future for Plastic?” Conference at Titanic Belfast, organised by the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM), Mr Lyttle said the figures bode well for other challenges ahead.

“Being able to meet this demanding target indicates that if everyone takes small steps to change their behaviour then we can make a significant difference, as a country, to protecting and improving the environment.

“Tackling climate change is about people. Our attitude and a willingness to change will be critical to meeting the challenge,” he added.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Download the latest Northern Ireland local authority collected municipal waste management statistics.
  2. The 50.6% figure is for the 12 month rolling period from 01 Jul 18 to 30 June 2019.
  3. All figures are provisional until the final end-year validation has been completed. An annual report with fully validated figures for 2019/20 is scheduled for November 2020.
  4. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  5. 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.

Share this page

Back to top