Massive increase in recycling rate

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The amount of household waste in Derry sent for recycling has increased by more than 1000% in the last decade, new figures reveal.

Figures contained in the Northern Ireland Municipal Waste Management Report for the last quarter of 2011 reveal that just under 4000 tonnes of household waste was gathered by Derry City Council - and just under a third of all waste was sent for recycling or composting.

The Department of Environment report reveals that just over 29% of all waste from the Derry City Council area was recycled between October and December of last year.

Just ten years ago, in 2002, only 2.3% of waste from the city was sent for recycling.

The north’s environment minister Alex Attwood welcomed the change in attitudes to waste.

“It is pleasing to see a continued decrease in the amount of household waste generated, an even bigger decrease in waste landfilled and the biggest decrease of all in the high impact biodegradable waste landfilled. Waste materials are no longer something we can afford to casually throw away, they represent a real resource with real costs both environmental and economic.

“It is encouraging to see this view being adopted by householders in particular and I note that waste generated per household has dropped to 260 kg from 265 kg in this busy pre-Christmas quarter.

“There is however much more that can be done and I want to see these figures improve still further. I congratulate all those people responsibly looking after their environment and I would encourage many more to do so.

Across the north just over 34% of all waste was sent for recycling and composting in the last three months of 2011 - with Magherafelt and Antrim council councils performing best in terms of recycling waste.

Both local authorities recycled in excess of 50% of all waste in the last quarter of 2011.

Despite the massive increase over the last decade, Derry City Council is still one of the worst performing of the north’s local authorities when it comes to recycling.