Help Shape Future Recycling Services

03 August 2020

Help Shape Future Recycling Services

The public are being given the opportunity to help shape the future of waste management in Northern Ireland.



The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has published a discussion paper on how best to recycle and collect waste.

Northern Ireland is committed to reaching new targets contained in the Circular Economy Package.

These include:

  •  Increasing household recycling rates from the current 50% to 65% by 2035
  • Restricting the amount sent to landfill to 10% by 2035 (the current household landfill rate is around 30%). 

Achieving these new targets will be challenging and will be driven primarily by new measures to improve the quality and quantity of materials recycled. This will also help support Northern Ireland’s circular economy by, for example, improving the supply of recycled materials to local companies who reuse them to make packaging.


Landfill Nearing Full Capacity

The paper notes that as waste is a resource our ambition should be to retain as much of its value within Northern Ireland.

It also highlights that landfill capacity in Northern Ireland is rapidly reaching capacity. Indeed, unless there is a “substantial reduction in the amount of waste ending up in landfill” there will be increased costs for ratepayers and “additional likelihood of illegal dumping”.

arc21’s strategy has always been to follow the waste hierarchy – to Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Recover – and we welcome the paper’s acknowledgement that “it is imperative that we continue to find better ways of diverting waste from landfill”.

The new infrastructure proposed by arc21 at Hightown will support our ongoing work to improve recycling rates, reduce Northern Ireland’s over-reliance on landfill and exporting waste overseas, reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions and generate energy to support green growth.

The discussion document gives stakeholders the opportunity to express their views on what Northern Ireland’s recycling environment should look like in the future. Submissions, due by 4th October, 2020, can be made here.