Northern Ireland records new low of 21.6 per cent for waste sent to landfill

On the back of the release of Northern Ireland’s waste statistics for July to September 2020 from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), it has been revealed the nation has achieved a new low for waste sent to landfill.

The landfill rate recorded for July to September 2020 was 21.6 per cent, down from 23.0 per cent in the same period last year, and down from 71.8 per cent in the same period in 2006.

This marks a long-term trend of falling landfill rates, as the amount of household waste sent to landfill reaches its lowest-ever level in Northern Ireland.

48.5 per cent of the waste sent to landfill was biodegradable waste, up from 47.3 per cent in Q2 2019.

Northern Ireland’s councils collected a total of 288,607 tonnes of waste from July to September 2020 – a 5.3 per cent increase from the same period in 2019.

However, the recycling rates shrunk slightly, with 52.9 per cent of collected municipal waste sent for recycling in 2020, compared to 54.6 per cent in the same period the year before.

The recycling rate for household waste decreased by 1.9 per cent, from 55.6 per cent in Q2 2020 to 53.7 per cent in Q2 2019.

Of all the waste collected during this period, household waste accounted for 83.9 per cent.

Six of the 11 Northern Irish councils saw a decrease in household waste recycling rates compared to the same period last year, with Ards and North Down reporting the largest decrease of 5.7 per cent.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Derry City and Strabane and Lisburn and Castlereagh were among the five councils that reported little change in household waste recycling rates.

Northern Ireland’s energy recovery rate rose to 23.0 per cent, a 3 per cent increase from the same period last year. DAERA reported 66,479 tonnes of waste arisings (mainly mixed residual waste) were sent for energy recovery in Q2 2020/21.

The highest energy-from-waste recovery rate was in Newry, Mourne and Down at 42.0 per cent. A further eight councils also reported an increase in their energy recovery rates.