A circular economy produces no waste or pollution and uses fewer resources and energy. It keeps products, parts and materials at their highest use and value at all times. It offers a sustainable alternative to our current linear economy - one where we make, use and then dispose of products parts and materials. This means there is less cost to the environment, precious resources will be saved and more jobs will be created.
We are already operating as a circular economy by the way we consume goods in various ways. For example, car-pooling and the increase in car leasing, reading e-books rather than printed copies, cloud computing and sharing products and resources.
Last year in Belfast (April 2017 – March 2018) we recycled 65,000 tonnes of waste. Around 60 per cent of this was processed locally. As a result, this reduced our landfill tax bill by around £5 million and potentially added over £250 million to the local economy through employment and the reprocessing of these materials.
- 80 people are employed at Natural World Products (NWP) near Dunmurry, where 18,584 tonnes of garden and food waste from the city is recycled into high quality organic compost which is sold in garden centres and used in agriculture throughout Northern Ireland.
- Nine new jobs for people with disabilities have been created by Ulster Supported Employment Limited (USEL) who took 27 tonnes of old mattresses from our recycling centres, broke them down and sold on the materials.
- Bryson House employ over 240 people throughout Northern Ireland for the collection and sorting of recycling materials collected from our homes and recycling centres. Materials such as paper, card, plastic bottles, pots tubs and trays, aluminium and steel cans are sold on to be reused.
- 25,000 tonnes of paper and card were recycled. The Huhtamaki Factory in Lurgan, employ 220 people who use some of this paper and card to make egg cartons for the poultry industry and cardboard drinks holders for the fast food industry.
- Encirc Glass in Fermanagh, who employ 440 people, remanufactured in excess of 100,000 tonnes of glass from households, bottle banks and recycling centres into containers for some of the world’s most recognised brands.
When you recycle, there is a greater benefit to the economy in terms of jobs and investment back into community.
Every item you recycle makes a difference, and managing our waste is everyone’s job.