Mid and East Antrim residents love the sound of recycling glass

Collection staff at Mid and East Antrim.
Collection staff at Mid and East Antrim.

Mid and East Antrim residents are the region’s top recyclers when it comes to disposing of glass and organic waste, latest figures reveal.

The April - June statistics, compiled by the Northern Local Authority Municipal Waste Management, show the borough is now second place when it comes to household recycling out of the province’s 11 councils.

However, more than 60% of glass and 73.6% of organics were captured from the household waste system in MEA during the period – well above the averages for six councils under the Arc21 umbrella waste management group.

Commenting on the findings, Councillor Dr Mark McKinty, chair of MEA’s Operational Committee, said: “They also show Mid and East Antrim decreased its household landfill rate by 7.5% - to 37.8% - during April and June of this year. An increase in the recycling rate locally by 7.2% contributed to this drop in the amount of waste which otherwise would have been destined for landfill. Recycling saves ratepayers’ money and also combats environmental damage.”

Announced at this month’s Operational Committee, the figures coincide with the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR).

Earlier this year council revealed 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 are expected to deliver annual savings of £200,000.

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

The Mayor, Councillor Paul Reid, said: “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.”

An increase in dry kerbside recycling locally was also reported.