Welsh recycling rates hit 49%

16th January 2012


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  • Waste ,
  • Disposal ,
  • Minimisation ,
  • Recycling

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IEMA

The amount of waste being recycled in Wales reached a record high during 2011, according to provisional figures from the Welsh Assembly.

Statistics compiled by the Environment Agency for Wales show that between July and September 2011, 49% of waste collected by Welsh local authorities was recycled, reused or composted.

The initial figures also reveal that recycling rates for the 12 months up to September 2011 were 5% higher than the previous year at 46%, and that the amount of waste being produced across the country has dropped.

According to the data, the amount of municipal waste created during July-September was 5% lower compared to the same time period in 2010, while households generated 15% less waste.

Welsh environment minister, John Griffiths cited weekly food collection services, offered by all councils across the country, as one of the key drivers in improving recycling rates.

“Separating out food waste not only diverts significant waste away from landfill, it also makes us far more aware of the food we are wasting, which can often result in reduced waste,” he said.

However, Griffiths warned that more must be done to improve resource efficiency if the Welsh Assembly was to meet its zero-waste ambitions.

“High recycling is an important element of sustainable waste management, but it is not the whole picture,” he said. “We must continue to do everything we can to prevent waste wherever possible and to become a more resource-efficient society.”

In a bid to meet its country-wide recycling target of 70% by 2025, Wales is the only UK country to introduce legally-binding targets for local authorities, with councils required to recycle 52% of waste by 2012–2013.

In releasing the preliminary data, the Welsh government revealed that it hoped the country will hit 50% recycling this year.

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