Northern Ireland local authority collected municipal waste management statistics released

Date published: 25 November 2021

The 2020/21 Northern Ireland local authority collected municipal waste management annual statistics report has been published today by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

DARD statistics

This statistical report is updated annually and contains information on key measurements of local authority collected (LAC) municipal waste for councils and waste management groups in Northern Ireland. This is the first annual waste report to include data from a period when measures and advice were implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The key points are:

  • Northern Ireland’s councils collected 1,031,169 tonnes of waste during 2020/21 which was 3.2 per cent higher than that collected in 2019/20. During 2020/21, 50.0 per cent of waste collected by councils was sent for recycling, 1.1 per cent lower than the recycling rate for 2019/20.
  • The landfill rate for waste collected by councils recorded a new annual low of 22.8 per cent in 2020/21, a fall from 74.0 per cent in 2006/07 and 24.0 per cent in 2019/20.
  • A quarter of waste arisings were sent for energy recovery in 2020/21, compared to 22.1 per cent in 2019/20, and 0.4 per cent 11 years ago.
  • Household waste accounted for 89.6 per cent of all waste collected during 2020/21. The recycling rate for household waste was 50.9 per cent while the landfill rate for household waste was 22.4 per cent. Fermanagh & Omagh generated the smallest amount of household waste per capita at 438 kg whilst Antrim & Newtownabbey recorded the largest at 543 kg per capita.
  • The household waste recycling rate of 50.9 per cent has once again met the Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy target to recycle 50 per cent of household waste by 2020. This target was first met in 2018/19. The 2020/21 figure is a decrease of 1.0 percentage points compared to the previous year.
  • There were 126,404 tonnes of biodegradable waste sent to landfill during 2020/21, similar to the quantity reported in 2019/20.

Further Information

View the statistical report.

Notes to editors: 

1. This is the twelfth issue of the Northern Ireland local authority collected municipal waste management statistics annual report. This annual report contains the final validated figures for 2020/21 which supersede those published in the quarterly reports for the period.

2. The data in this report are based on returns made to WasteDataFlow, which is a web based system, used by all UK local authorities to report LAC municipal waste.

3. There are four main sections in the report which covers local authority collected municipal waste and, where appropriate, household waste: arisings; reuse, dry recycling, composting; energy recovery; and landfill.

4. With the reform of local government in Northern Ireland 8 of the 11 district councils were split into two Waste Management Groups with 3 unaffiliated to any group as follows:

arc21: Antrim & Newtownabbey; Ards & North Down, Belfast, Lisburn & Castlereagh; Mid & East Antrim; Newry, Mourne & Down.

North West Regional Waste Management Group: Causeway Coast & Glens; Derry City & Strabane.

5. These statistics are released according to the Statement of Compliance with the Pre-release access to Official Statistics Order (NI) 2009, National Statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

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7. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office.

8. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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