Northern Ireland looking to introduce 60 per cent recycling rate


A consultation has been launched in Northern Ireland on whether a 60 per cent recycling rate should be introduced.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood wants to see Northern Ireland exceed the 50 per cent recycling rate required by the European Union by 2020.


He said: “This is a challenging target going beyond what the EU requires. It would stretch our ambition but I believe people want us to do so. The enthusiastic welcome for the carrier bag levy last month demonstrated how people want to make a contribution to deal with waste and ease climate change. A 60 per cent recycling target in our homes and towns would do precisely that…

“…I have yet to make financial decisions on some details, whether we should have a single target or stepped targets, who the target will apply to, and what should constitute ‘recycling’. I want to hear what people have to say, and this consultation will help me to establish the best way forward…

“…Making this 60 per cent recycling target statutory gives certainty for everyone involved in waste recycling. It’s a win win for the environment and business. It will generate economic opportunities for local businesses, helping them to improve their productivity and profitability and compete in the global market while further enhancing the clean green environment. A low carbon country, commerce and homes is best for our environment and a key way to grow the economy and jobs.”

In 2011/12, Northern Ireland had a recycling rate of 38.4 per cent. The consultation closes on 2 September.