On 7 March 2024, the Northern Ireland (NI) Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) launched a consultation titled ‘Rethinking Our Resources: Measures for Climate Action and a Circular Economy in NI.’ The consultation sets out proposals for improving the quality and quantity of household and non-household municipal (NHM) waste collections and recycling to reduce residual waste and cut landfill rates.

The first part of the consultation features twelve proposals to standardize household waste collections. These include reducing household residual waste capacity, revising the frequency and form of food and garden waste collections, provision of caddy liners, and establishing clear guidelines for councils to act against persistent recycling offenders.

The second part of the consultation presents fourteen proposals to improve non-household municipal waste (NHM) recycling. These include mandated separate food waste collections from all NHM premises, promoting anaerobic digestion (AD) as the preferred treatment method for separately collected food waste, reviewing collection zoning and franchising proposals, and Amending Article 5 of The Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 to ensure compliance with new requirements for dry recyclables and food waste.

Read the full consultation here.

REA submitted a response to the consultation on the 27th of June, incorporating feedback from our NI members. Within the response the REA:

  • Supports restricting household residual waste capacity to 90 litres per week.
  • Advocates for local authorities (LAs) ability to choose what type of food and garden waste collections work best for their local circumstances.
  • Supports evidence-based guidance on caddy liner material types and agrees that free caddy liners should be provided to citizens who participate in food waste collections.
  • Supports the separate collection of food waste from all businesses and the wider NHM sector.
  • Advocates against proposals for commercial waste franchising and zoning schemes that could undermine existing service providers and competition

You can download our full response here.