Recognising the latest statistics as a step in the right direction, the MLA for South Belfast also urged caution as for the first time the recycling and composting rate fell compared to the same time last year.
The figures were revealed as part of the latest provisional Northern Ireland Local Authority Collected (LAC) Municipal Waste Management Statistics, detailing January to March 2013.
Anna Lo MLA said: “It is welcome news that this quarter has witnessed a significant reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill sites. In the past Northern Ireland has been facing serious problems due to the large amount of waste produced, so I pleased to see this has now reached an all-time low.
“However it is worrying to see a downward trend when it comes to recycling and composting. We cannot allow these levels to fall further and can all take simple steps to ensure we are recycling to the best of our ability.
“Recycling and composting still remains the best way to help and protect our environment, while continuing to limit the amount of waste sent to landfill and avoiding EU fines.
“Alliance remains committed to investing in the delivery of waste management plans, including supporting a hierarchy of options for reducing, reusing and recycling waste, to meet all targets.”