Almost half of Derry waste is incinerated

A sizeable amount of Derry's municpal waste is now being sent for incineration.
A sizeable amount of Derry's municpal waste is now being sent for incineration.

Almost half of Derry’s municipal waste is now being sent for incineration, new figures reveal.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), more than one fifth of Northern Ireland’s municipal waste was sent for incineration between January and March - a 5.5% increase on the same time last year.

The stats reveal that 44.8% of Derry and Strabane Council waste was sent for energy recovery - that’s the highest in the North.

At the other end of the scale, the lowest was 1.4% in Fermanagh & Omagh.

Earlier this year, it emerged that that more than 100,000 tonnes of waste had been shipped from Northern Ireland for incineration in countries including the Republic, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands and Spain between January and September last year.

A breakdown of where exactly waste for energy recovery has been sent at the start of this year isn’t available.

The quarterly report revealed that local councils collected 227,238 tonnes of LAC (local authority collected) municipal waste between January and March 2016.

This was a 4.7% increase on the 217,138 tonnes collected during the same three months of 2015, and was the third consecutive quarter increase.

Household waste accounts for 89.1% of total LAC municipal waste.

Belfast generated the smallest quantity of household waste per person at 101kg, while the largest was recorded in Ards and North Down at 126kg.

The household waste preparing for reuse, dry recycling and composting rate was 38.3% between January and March 2016. This was an increase on the 37.4% recorded during the same three months of 2015.

At council level, rates varied from 44.2% in Antrim and Newtownabbey and Mid Ulster to 32.9% in Causeway Coast and Glens.

The data in the report are based on returns made to WasteDataFlow, a web-based system used by all UK local authorities to report LAC municipal waste.

All figures are provisional until the final end-year validation has been completed.

An annual report with fully validated figures for 2015/16 is scheduled for December.