22% of blue bin waste ended up in landfill

editorial image

Over a fifth of recyclable blue bin waste collected by the old Derry City Council in 2014/15 had to be landfill because it was contaminated with nappies, food and dog mess, figures released to People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann have revealed.

But the new Derry City and Strabane District Council says that’s been significantly reduced with the amount dumped between April and June 2016 down to 12.61 per cent - a 13.18 per cent reduction from the figures presented for the same period in 2015.

Mr McCann learned from the Environment Minister Michelle McIlveen that the old Derry City Council had the worst record in the north with 22 per cent of kerbside waste collected for recycling sent to landfill.

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District said the figures related to contaminated waste extracted from the Mixed Dry Recycling (MDR) at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

“Contaminated materials include items such as; nappies, food waste, dog mess and other non-recyclable materials.

“These materials have been extracted from the MDR stream at the MRF and end up in landfill as they cannot be recycled,” the spokesperson said.

But things have improved. “The current ‘contamination rate’ figure for non-recycled items sent to landfill from April to June 2016 for the city and district is 12.61 per cent - a 13.18 per cent reduction from the figures presented for the same period in 2015,” the Council spokesperson said.

“With the introduction of the food waste collection service to approximately 27,000 households throughout the area and approximately 400 dog waste bins installed in public areas, Council is committed to working to ensure waste is recycled more effectively and that the overall recycling rates for the city and district continues to improve,” they added.