New figures, published this week, show little improvement on last year’s with the country recycling or composting 29% of its municipal waste in the first three months of the year – just 0.2% more than during the same period in 2009.

This compares to England which by 2007/2008 England was already recycling 34.5 per cent of its household waste with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs claiming the country will hit its 40% target by the end of 2010.

The largely unchanged rate puts Northern Ireland in conflict with the European Union Landfill Directive, which require significant improvements in waste management or the prospect of stiff fines.

But in more positive news the figures show the volume of waste being produced by Northern Irish appears to be falling – down 2.4% on the same quarter last year.

The breakdown of recycled materials shows paper (33%) and green waste (27%) as the most common.

Glass made up 9% of recycled waste, electrical goods six per cent and cans 2%.

The proportion of household waste sent for recycling in the current quarter was just over 22% while for composting it was around 8%.

For the full Northern Ireland statistics go to Northern Ireland’s Department of Environment website by clicking here.

David Gibbs

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