Recycling rates on the rise

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Mid and East Antrim residents remain NI’s top recyclers when it comes to disposing of glass, latest figures reveal.

The statistics, compiled by the Northern Local Authority Municipal Waste Management, relate to waste collected during last October, November and December.

And they show the Borough reported hugely impressive recycling rates over the past year.

The recycling rate in Mid and East Antrim shot up by 6.8% to 50.1%.

This is largely down to an increase in household waste composting, which rose to 28.7%, compared to a Northern Ireland average of 22.8%.

Mid and East Antrim is in third place when it comes to household recycling out of all 11 Councils in Northern Ireland.

The borough is best in the region when it came to responsible disposal of glass.

Out-going Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, said: “The most recent figures from Northern Ireland Local Authority Municipal Waste Management are hugely encouraging and are to be warmly welcomed.

“In Mid and East Antrim, 105kg of household waste was generated per person, compared to a Northern Ireland average of 111kg.

“They also show that in the three months outlined, 16,434 tonnes of waste was dealt with, of which 13% was non-household.

“This represented a 1.9% decrease compared to the same period in 2016.

“Our residents continue to lead the way when it comes to recycling household and organic waste.

“Recycling saves ratepayers’ money and also combats environmental damage. Our citizens are to be commended for their efforts and I thank them for their support to date.”

The latest figures were announced at last month’s meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Operational Committee.

Last year Council launched a campaign aimed at substantially reducing the amount of local food waste sent to landfill was proving hugely successful.

Reduced landfill costs as a result of the move are expected to deliver annual savings of £200,000 – meaning those funds are available for other projects and work within Mid and East Antrim.

Changes to food waste collections came into effect throughout the Borough back in April 2017, with residents urged to dispose of food waste into brown bins as opposed to black.

Council promoted the changes widely through the media, its website, collection calendars, Connections magazine and letters to householders.

Cllr. Reid added: “Council has received more than 5,000 requests for brown bins and in excess of 7,500 requests for food caddies.

“This is a phenomenal response from our residents and I commend them for their overwhelming support and making the switch from black to brown bins.

“It costs twice as much to dispose of food waste in a black bin as it does to recycle food waste from a brown bin.

“Unwanted food that ends up in landfill is the most polluting type of waste due to the release of harmful gases.

“Rather than pollute the environment, that waste is increasingly being put to a great use in Mid and East Antrim as high quality compost which is then made available to our residents. Brown is the New Black in our Borough and this is a complete win-win for all of us in Mid and East Antrim.”

An increase in dry kerbside recycling locally was also reported.

For more information or advice on recycling, please contact 0300 124 5000 or email recycling@midandeastantrim.gov.uk. Alternatively, details are available at www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/recycling