JANUARY 2009

English authorities make good progress on recycling targets

Ninety percent of local authorities are meeting or even exceeding their household recycling targets, new figures published by UK Environment Minister Jane Kennedy indicate.

The waste statistics for all English local authorities in 2007/08 show how individual local authorities are contributing to the national drive to reduce the amount of waste produced and then to recycle as much of that as possible. The results show:

  • 90 percent of local authorities met or exceeded their recycling targets;
  • 90 percent of local authorities had less residual rubbish (or ‘black bag’ waste) to collect than in 2006/07;
  • 94 percent of authorities recycled and composted more of their household waste than in 2006/07; and
  • 72 percent of authorities sent a lower percentage of their municipal waste to landfill than in 2006/07.

This shows a continued improvement on last year based on the audited Best Value Performance Indicators for 2007/08.

Environment Minister Jane Kennedy said, “Recycling is now part of everyday life in this country and the way we think about waste has changed.

“Putting local councils in the driving seat is delivering results. The government remains committed to supporting local authorities in continuing this revolution in recycling.” Seeing ninety percent of local authorities meet or exceed their recycling targets is an important achievement.

Other key statistics are:

  • The highest household recycling-composting rate was 58.4 percent in East Lindsey District Council;
  • East Lindsey was the most improved authority, increasing recycling rate by over 20 percent;
  • Nineteen authorities had a recycling-composting rate greater than 50 percent;
  • Nineteen authorities increased their recycling rate by more than 10 percent;
  • The largest decrease in household waste to collect per head was North Cornwall District Council by 13.6 percent; and
  • Seven authorities had reductions in the amount of household waste to collect of over 10 percent.

National Statistics for municipal waste management for 2007/08 in England and the regions were also published. These results show:

  • An increase in the national household recycling and composting rate to 34.5 percent, from 30.9 the previous year;
  • A decrease in the amount of residual household waste from 17.9 million tons to 16.6 million tons (7 percent);
  • A decrease in the amount of municipal waste to landfill from 16.9 to 15.5 million tons (or 54 percent of total municipal waste); and
  • A decrease in the total amount of municipal waste collected from 29.1 to 28.5 million tons (by 2.2 percent). There was also a decrease in total collected household waste from 25.8 to 25.3 million tons, or 1.9 percent.