NI Households Dumped Almost One Million Tonnes of Waste in 2020

Northern Ireland’s councils collected almost one million tonnes of waste during 2019/20, according to the recently published local authority collected municipal waste management annual statistics.

This statistical report is updated annually and contains information on key measurements of local authority collected (LAC) municipal waste for councils and waste management groups in Northern Ireland. 

The key points are:

–Northern Ireland’s councils collected 998,985 tonnes of waste during 2019/20 which was 0.9% higher than that collected in 2018/19. During 2019/20, 51.1% of waste collected by councils was sent for recycling, 1.3% higher than the recycling rate for 2018/19.

-The landfill rate for waste collected by councils recorded a new annual low of 24.0% in 2019/20, a fall from 74.0% in 2006/07 and 28.9% in 2018/19.

-More than one fifth of waste arisings were sent for energy recovery in 2019/20, compared to 19.4% in 2018/19, and 0.4% 10 years ago.

-Household waste accounted for 88.2% of all waste collected during 2019/20. The recycling rate for household waste was 51.9% while the landfill rate for household waste was 23.7%. Fermanagh & Omagh generated the smallest amount of household waste per capita at 412 kg whilst Antrim & Newtownabbey recorded the largest at 588 kg per capita.

-The household waste recycling rate of 51.9% has met the Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy target to recycle 50% of household waste by 2020. This target was first met in 2018/19 with the latest figure the highest household recycling rate ever recorded for Northern Ireland.

-The household waste recycling rate is also a population indicator for the draft Programme for Government Framework 2016-2021. The household waste recycling rate of 51.9% is an increase of 9.8 percentage points since the baseline year for PfG reporting (2014/15) and is considered as a positive change for PfG reporting.

-There were 126,286 tonnes of biodegradable waste sent to landfill during 2019/20. This was 17.6% lower than the 153,323 tonnes sent in 2018/19 and also represents a lower proportion of the reduced annual allowance allocated to councils under the Northern Ireland Landfill Allowance Scheme (NILAS) in 2019/20.