Moves to cut waste, increase recycling, and reduce landfill are continuing to deliver results, according to the latest figures.

The provisional municipal waste statistics, published today, have been welcomed by Environment Minister Joan Ruddock as evidence that the efforts of local authorities and householders are paying off. Municipal waste includes household waste and recycling, as well as waste from parks, public gardens, beaches, civic amenity sites and clearance of fly tips.

Joan Ruddock said: “We know we can’t keep throwing rubbish into landfill. My postbag is full of letters from people saying they want to recycle more. But unless they know their efforts are making a real difference they won’t keep trying.

“That’s why statistics like these are so important. The figures published today are provisional – we will know the full picture by the end of the year – but the early results show those efforts continue to be worthwhile. Local authorities and their residents are making good progress.

“We still have some way to go before we are performing at the level of some of our nearest neighbours in Europe. But we are catching them up, and positive feedback like this should encourage all of us to keep up the effort to reduce and recycle our rubbish.”

The latest findings, which cover the period from October to December last year, include: Household waste has gone down - from 25.8m to 25.6m tonnes; Less waste has gone to landfill - down from 16.9 to 15.8m tonnes; Recycled household waste is up - now at 33.9%; and Municipal waste is down overall - from 29.1m to 28.8m tonnes. Final figures will be available as part of the annual National Statistics release in November 2008.


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