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January 2007

London’s municipal waste statistics released

Defra published the first set of estimates from the Department's 2005/06 survey of municipal waste. This is the second year that results are based on information supplied by local authorities in England to WasteDataFlow.

For 2005/06, there was a 100% response rate to WasteDataFlow. The figures for financial year 2005/6 show a decrease in total municipal waste, a further increase in recycling, and a decrease in the amounts sent to landfill. Minor revisions have also been made to estimates for 2004/05.

The total amount of collected municipal waste has decreased to an estimated 28.7 million ton in England in 2005/06 compared to 29.6 million tons in 2004/05, a decrease of 3.0 percent. The average annual increase in municipal waste from 2000/01 to 2005/06 was 0.5 percent.

In total, 37.2 percent (10.7 million tons) of municipal waste had some sort of value (recycling, composting, energy from waste and fuel manufacture) recovered from it in 2005/06, a rise from 33.0 percent (9.8 million tons) in 2004/05.

The proportion of municipal waste being recycled or composted increased from 23.5 percent in 2004/05 to 27.1 percent in 2005/06. The proportion of waste incinerated with energy recovery has shown a small increase to 10 percent. The proportion of municipal waste being disposed of in landfill has continued to decrease from 67 percent in 2004/05 to 62 percent in 2005/06. The actual tonnage of municipal waste disposed of in landfill has also decreased again from 19.8 million ton in 2004/05 to 17.9 million tons in 2005/06.

Household waste and recycling

In 2005/06, household sources accounted for 89 percent of municipal waste, 25.5 million tons, which equates to around 1,212 lbs. of household waste per person per year.

The amount of waste collected from household sources decreased by 0.8 percent in 2005/6, from 25.7 million tons to 25.5 million tons.

The proportion of household waste recycled (including composting) has continued to increase, rising from 22.5 percent in 2004/05 to 26.7 percent in 2005/06. This increase in the national recycling rate of 4.2 percentage points is comparable with the growth rate of 4.7 percentage points achieved last year. In absolute terms the amount of household waste sent for recycling or composting has increased by 17.5 percent, from 5.8 million tons in 2004/05 to 6.8 million tons in 2005/06.

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