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November 2006

England’s recycling up and landfill down latest figures reveal

The Government target to recycle and compost 25% of household waste in England by 2005/06 has been exceeded, according to provisional figures published by Defra.

They show households in England recycled 27% of their waste during 2005/06, 4% more than in the previous year.

Defra also confirmed that all waste disposal authorities in England have successfully met their limits for the first year of the Landfill Allowances Trading Scheme (LATS) helping reduce the overall amount of waste sent to landfill.

Local Environment Quality Minister, Ben Bradshaw, welcomed these figures and commented, “We have nearly quadrupled recycling since 1997. But we need to double it again as part of our battle against dangerous climate change and to hit landfill diversion targets.

“Local authorities should be congratulated for making a success of the landfill allowances trading scheme. This is an important first step. The more biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) that is diverted from landfill and recycled the quicker we will meet our 2010 target to reduce BMW to 11.2m tons, 75% of that produced in 1995.

Recycling facts and figures

  • In 2004/5 households in England produced 25.7 million tons of waste. Over half of this is estimated to consist of garden waste, waste paper and board, and kitchen waste.
  • On average every person in England now produces seven times their own weight in waste a year.
  • Every person in England is currently recycling enough to fill 9 green wheelie bins, the equivalent of taking 3.5 million cars off UK roads (Source: WRAP).
  • Around 20 per cent of the waste in bins is packaging - some 4.5 million tons of it.


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