Well over half of all household material sent for recycling over the three months to June this year was composted, according to a government report.
The figures were contained in the quarterly Northern Ireland Local Authority Collected Municipal Waste Management statistics produced by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
Of all household waste, 29.3% was sent for composting over the period, accounting for around 56% of all reported household recycling from local authorities
Responding to the data, Colm Warren, Chief Executive of Natural World Products (NWP), which converts discarded organic material from households across Northern Ireland into organic and peat-free compost, said: “It is of course welcome that more than a third of household waste recorded in the period was composted, making up well over half of all material recycled.
“However, there is significant scope for this figure to be increased with a greater and concerted push from authorities to drive up recycling rates of household organics, including garden waste. More regular collection of brown bins and food waste may be an obvious thing to explore – especially if residual bin collections are to be reduced in frequency for example.
“Reminding residents of the critical importance of using their brown bins for both food and garden waste is of increasing importance – especially when we branch away from looking only at the impact on landfill diversion and start thinking about how we’re combating the critical issues of both soil health and carbon capture as we step up efforts in the battle against the climate emergency.
“Organic and peat-free compost is a critical weapon in the fight to return organic matter to heavily farmed soils, create greater growing sustainability locally and for reducing the use of peat in horticulture – with the massive carbon savings that also entails.
“Every householder in Northern Ireland has a role to play in that battle – let’s be a world-leading example of what a tangible and local circular economy can actually look like.”
NWP is headquartered in Belfast with additional recycling facilities in Antrim, County Armagh, and County Down.
Food and garden waste processed by NWP is converted into high quality organic compost which is used by councils, agri-growers and the horticultural sector across Northern Ireland and further afield.