Northern Ireland news

Councils collecting more waste but recycling less of it

Councils across Northern Ireland are collecting more waste but recycling less of it. File picture by Hugh Russell

COUNCILS across Northern Ireland are collecting more waste but recycling less of it, new figures show.

Around 284,771 tonnes of waste were collected between April and June this year - a 20.4 per cent increase on the same period in 2020.

At the height of the pandemic last year, council-run dumps were closed.

The rise in waste has been partly attributed to more rubbish being collected at dumps this year.

Figures released by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, showed that 88.2 per cent of all waste collected between April and June was household waste.

During the three-month period, only around 52.1 per cent of household waste was recycled, compared to 54.4 per cent last year.

Households also sent more waste to landfill - around 21.5 per cent of waste compared to 20.7 per cent last year.

However, the overall amount of waste sent to landfill has dropped sharply in the last 15 years.

Between April and June 2006, around 72.5 per cent of waste went to landfill, compared to 21.6 per cent in April to June this year.

The figures come as world leaders prepare to discuss the ongoing climate emergency at the United Nations Cop26 summit in Glasgow later this month.

The aim is to hold the rise in the earth's temperature to 1.5C.

Scientists have said global carbon emissions must fall by 45 per cent from 2010 levels if that aim is to be met.

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