The data covering the period from July to September 2013 shows that local authorities sent over two per cent more material for recycling and composting than during the same period the previous year (42.8%).

The figures were published by the Department of Environment.

The landfill rate has also continued to fall. Less than half (47.4%) of all local authority collected (LAC) municipal waste was sent to landfill in the second quarter of 2013/14. This was the lowest quarterly landfill rate on record and represents a reduction of over 4% on the proportion landfilled in the equivalent quarter last year (51.8%).

The report also shows that the overall amount of LAC municipal waste arisings (246,293 tonnes) was broadly similar to the same period last year (247,487 tonnes).

Commenting on the figures, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “The continued increase in recycling rates to their highest ever summer levels is welcomed news. Together with the continued decrease of landfilled waste, this shows that as a society we are making more use of what must be viewed as resources and not waste.

“Along with the support of my Department more councils are expanding the range of materials that can be collected at the kerbside for recycling. I very much commend the public for the effort they put into recycling.

“I encourage people to check their council’s website or try the Rethink Waste NI link for more information on what they can do not just at home but at work or in their community to reduce, reuse and recycle.”

Liz Gyekye

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