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Home > Legislation & Strategy > UK Waste and Recycling Legislation and Strategy > Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s most recent waste strategy was found in Towards Resource Management – The Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy 2006-2020. Recycling targets are as per the Waste Framework Directive requirements (22.5% for plastics).

Towards Resource Efficiency Consultation

The Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland ( has consulted on policy options for a Bill that will contain powers to introduce a statutory recycling target for Local Authority collected municipal waste, aptly named Policy Options for a Bill to Introduce Recycling Targets.

The general strategic direction is to move the emphasis from Toward Resource Management to Toward Resource Efficiency, with the focus shifting to waste prevention and recycling using the waste hierarchy as a foundation for this. This is designed to promote ‘green’ jobs and ultimately boost the Northern Ireland economy.

Looking at the detail, some fundamental questions are being debated, such as:

● Single target or “stepped” targets
● Who are the obligated parties
● Whether the same targets apply to all
● The definition of ‘recycling’
● How the legislation is monitored

It is proposed recycling targets will be dramatically increased, with a mandatory 60% target for municipal waste collected by Local Authorities by 2020 suggested. On the basis of the information in the consultation it appears that this Bill will follow the Welsh model with staggered targets and possible penalties for every tonne that is under target.

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