The draft Environment Strategy for Northern Ireland includes a commitment to publish a new Waste Management Strategy by 2023. The publication of the Closure report formally closes the previous, Delivering Resource Efficiency – Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy which commenced in October 2013. Following publication, the Department will now move forward with developing a new Waste Management Strategy.
The Closure Report concludes that over the lifetime of the Strategy there have been significant improvements in key headline waste indicators, including diversion from landfill and recycling. The introduction of the carrier bag levy is also a significant success. Of the 2013 Strategy’s 44 actions and targets a total of 36 (82%) were achieved, beyond the target date, or superseded or alternative action taken with achievements identified including, the achievement of a 50% household waste recycling rate, landfilling no more than 220,000 tonnes of biodegradable Local Authority Collected Municipal Waste (BLACMW) and the strengthening the targets of the producer responsibility regime.
Welcoming the publication of the report Minister Poots said: “Since 2013, I am pleased to observe the Northern Ireland Waste strategy has contributed significantly to improving the sustainability of our waste. Specifically I note the delivery of a number of key achievements, including an 81% reduction in carrier bag numbers, reducing the amount of biodegradable Local Authority Collected Municipal Waste landfilled by over 120,000 tonnes per annum and increasing our recycling rate to over 50%.”
The Minister continued, “My department will now begin working with stakeholders to develop a new Waste Management Strategy. This will include implementation of new recycling and landfill reduction targets and incorporating new policy developments since 2013, such as a deposit return scheme for cans and bottles and extended producer responsibly schemes for priority waste streams like electrical goods and textiles.”