Monday marked the beginning of national ‘Recycle Week’ and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is encouraging everyone in Northern Ireland to help the environment by recycling more material.
‘Recycle Week’, which runs from 25 September to 1 October, is delivered by Waste Resources Action Plan (WRAP) NI and supported by DAERA. This year the focus of the campaign in Northern Ireland is the recycling of food waste.
Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), David Small, launched ‘Recycle Week’ at Woodvale Community gardens by promoting the benefits to the environment of compost produced directly from the recycling of food waste.
He said: “Food waste makes up a significant proportion of the household waste we throw out each week, with over 70% of the food waste dumped in landfills coming from households. However, making the effort to recycle this food waste will greatly contribute to improving the environment, supporting the economy and creating jobs in Northern Ireland.
“It is great to see locally produced compost from recycled food waste being used within our local parks and Community Gardens. The compost is keeping them in tip top condition for the growth of flowers, fruit and vegetables. Recycling food waste really does make a difference.”
Mr Small emphasised the need for more households to make use of their kerbside recycling services which are provided by local councils.
“It is important that everyone uses the recycling services provided by councils throughout the year in order for Northern Ireland to fully realise the benefits of food waste recycling to the environment and the local economy. I would therefore encourage everyone to play their part during Recycle Week to reduce, reuse and recycle where possible and continue this practice as part of their household daily routine.”
Dr Ian Garner, from Recycle Now, said: “Many of us are not aware that when it comes to recycling, what goes around really does come back around. Those plate scrapings you recycle could become compost to put on your flowerbed, keep your local parks looking good or even help grow potatoes for your next roast. Every little helps – even small bits of food like tea bags and coffee grounds can be recycled.”
Caolan Woods, from Natural World Products, said: “We employ 40 people locally to help recycle Belfast’s food and green waste into a high quality organic soil conditioner, used across a range of applications – from local farmers looking to improve crop yields to local Councils seeking to help our parks and greenways flourish.”
Councils across Northern Ireland will be marking Recycle Week by organising local events and activities. To find out more about Recycle Week visit: http://www.recyclenow.com/ni