New figures reveal surge in recycling
London—- Recycling of household
waste has doubled in the last four years, according to new provisional
figures published by Defra.
The figures show that English
households recycled more than a fifth of their waste, (approaching
23%) in 2004-05. They are the first signal of recycling rates
in 2004-05 which, though unaudited, provide a good indication
of the level being achieved.
Performance around the country
varies with, on average, residents in the North East recycling
the least (16%) and people in East of England recycling the most
(29%). The greatest leap has been in the East Midlands, up 7%
on last year to 27%.
Local Environmental Quality Minister,
Ben Bradshaw, said: “We’ve doubled the amount we recycle
in just four years. These figures prove how much more people understand
the importance of recycling compared to even just four years ago.”
According to WRAP (Waste &
Resources Action Programme), which runs the Government’s
national Recycle Now campaign for England, every household could
recycle up to 60% of its waste.
This is reflected in some European
recycling rates: Germany recycles 57% of its waste; Netherlands
recycles 64%; and Denmark 41% -levels of recycling that some English
local authorities, like Lichfield, are already reaching.
WRAP, one of the organizations
tasked with improving the UK’s resource efficiency, thinks
the key to recycling success lies in maintaining the momentum.
In future, all local authorities
will have to maintain and improve their recycling levels. Defra
will publish a consultation shortly with proposals for new statutory
performance standards for 2007-08.
All authorities are encouraged
to continue to perform above any statutory minimum to meet their
own local performance standards and to meet Landfill Allowance
strategies and landfill tax pressures.
Later in the year, Government
will consult, as part of the review of Waste Strategy 2000, on
the format and level of any future performance standards for local
In the meantime, Defra and the
WRAP are continuing to work with local authorities and retailers
to pilot and roll out new ways - from new technology at recycling
‘bring’ banks to financial incentives such as discount
vouchers to get people recycling more.
A new multi-million pilot program
of local authority household incentives is due to start in October
which will pilot, test and assess various approaches to incentivising