HOUSEHOLDS in Northern Ireland are recycling and composting more waste material than ever before, according to the latest statistics.
News published yesterday reveals Northern Ireland has now exceeded its target of 50% recycling by 2020 – 18 months ahead of schedule.
“Householders are now recycling 50.6% of their waste – a huge achievement for all involved. 17 years ago when we started to collect the statistics it was at 10%,” explained Owen Lyttle, assistant director of environmental policy at the Department of Agricultural, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
“Achieving this result reflects a tremendous effort by all those involved in the waste management sector, local and central government, reprocessing sector, the voluntary sector and of course the public.
“Together we have surpassed our strategy target of recycling 50% of our household waste by the end of 2020, putting us in a good place now to focus our efforts on addressing the bigger challenges of climate change,” he added.
Speaking at “The Future for Plastic?” Conference at Titanic Belfast, organised by the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM), Mr Lyttle said the figures bode well for other challenges ahead.
“Being able to meet this demanding target indicates that if everyone takes small steps to change their behaviour then we can make a significant difference, as a country, to protecting and improving the environment.
“Tackling climate change is about people. Our attitude and a willingness to change will be critical to meeting the challenge,” he added.