Environment Minister Sets 60% Recycling Target by 2020

Environment Minister Alex Attwood has launched a consultation on a new compulsory 60% recycling target for waste collected by our local councils (Friday 3 May).

The target goes beyond the 50% household waste recycling rate required by Europe and has to be achieved by 2020.

Commenting on the consultation Minister Attwood 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.dn_screen

“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% recycling target in our homes and towns would do precisely that.

“In 2011/12 we recycled 38.4% of local authority collected municipal waste collected by our councils. This is a fourfold increase from our efforts in 2001/2 when we were recycling just 8.9%. I am confident that Northern Ireland can keep this pace up and hit 60% by 2020. A hard target in law will help us do so.”

Minister Attwood continued: “I have yet to take final 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.

“Following on from this consultation I plan to bring a Bill to the Assembly early next year. The Bill will provide the enabling powers needed to introduce the regime for the 60% target.

“Making this 60% 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.”

*** The consultation begins on Friday 3 May and ends on Monday 2 September.