Mid Ulster one of NI's most environmentally friendly councils
MID Ulster District council is leading the way when it comes to being environmentally-friendly, as the latest statistics show that recycling rates across the North have hit an all-time high.
The latest municipal waste management statistics from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) show that households across the North are recycling and composting more waste material than ever before.
The figures show that 50.6% of household waste was recycled for reuse, dry recycling or composting between July 1 2018 and June 30 2019. This means that DAERA have now exceeded their target of 50% recycling across the North 18 months ahead of schedule.
Mid Ulster residents appear to be the most environmentally conscious, as the region's rate of 56.9% household waste recycling is the highest of any council district. The area also has one of the lowest percentages of household waste being sent to landfill. 4,153 tonnes of household waste - 11.2% of the total collected - was sent to landfill in the Mid Ulster area between July 1 2018 and June 30 2019.
There is room for improvement when it comes to household recycling in the Causeway Coast and Glens Council area. 48.8% of household waste in the area was recycled, meaning the area ranks number 8 out of the North's 11 council areas. A total of 12,687 tonnes of waste was sent to landfill over the past year - representing 31.1% of the area's total waste.
Owen Lyttle, Assistant Director of Environmental Policy at DAERA, described the overall increase in recycling as a "huge achievement for all involved."
"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," he said.
“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."
Speaking at 'The Future for Plastic?' Conference at Titanic Belfast, Mr Lyttle said that 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," he said.
“Tackling climate change is about people. Our attitude and a willingness to change will be critical to meeting the challenge."
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