The overall recycling rate in England continued to show a slight increase between 2010 and 2012, according to a new summary of UK waste statistics published by Defra this month (September 25).
According to the figures, the English recycling rate was 42.9% in 2011, rising to 43.9% in 2012, while waste arisings produced by households across the UK dropped from 27 million tonnes in 2010 to around 26 million tonnes in 2012.
In addition, biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) sent to landfill throughout the UK fell by 7% between 2010 and 2012, meaning that the UK has met targets under the EU Landfill Directive.
The Directive states that the amount of BMW sent to landfill should be no greater than 75% of the 1995 tonnage by 2010. Defra’s data shows that 13 million tonnes of BMW was sent to landfill in 2010, representing 36% of the 1995 baseline value.
In Wales, the figures show that 52.5% of household waste was recycled in 2012 – nearly 10 percentage points above the UK average.
Newly-appointed natural resources minister at the Welsh Government, Carl Sargeant, welcomed the figures, stating: “The EU target is to recycle at least 50% by 2020, which we have already comfortably met, and we are already looking towards our Welsh target of 70% recycling by 2025.