Welsh streets ahead on recycling rates

Wales remains streets ahead of the other UK nations in the amount of waste households sent to be recycled.

UK Statistics on Waste, published by Defra, show that Welsh homes recycled 54.8 per cent of their waste last year (2014). This compares to 44.8 per cent in England, 43.6 per cent in Northern Ireland and 41 per cent in Scotland

In the four years since this data has been collected by Defra, Welsh homes have improved our household recycling rate from 44 per cent (2010) to nearly 55 per cent (2014), which is nearly ten percentage points higher than the UK average (44.9).

Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said,

“Wales is the only UK nation to set statutory recycling targets and our approach is clearly paying dividends as we lead the way in the UK. Welsh local authorities are already meeting the European target of recycling a minimum of 50 per cent by 2020.

“It is important that we continue to recycle in the right way to get the economic and environmental benefits that we want to achieve for Wales.”

Towards Zero Waste, our overarching strategy for waste, sets out how we will manage waste in Wales to produce benefits not only for the environment, but also for our economy and social wellbeing. The strategy outlines the actions we must all take if we are to reach our ambition of becoming a high recycling nation by 2025 and a zero waste nation by 2050.

Earlier this year we published a progress report, which highlighted the following achievements:

  • Wales leads the UK in recycling municipal waste and is also in fourth place in relation to the performance of EU member states.
  • We have reduced waste sent to landfill at permitted sites by 37% between 2010 and 2013.
  • We met the EU target 2020 for biodegradable waste collected by local authorities and others sent to landfill eight years early (2012).

The Minister praised Welsh households and local authorities for the valuable role they have played in achieving today’s results.

“These figures are testament to the commitment of householders and local authorities across Wales. Working to make the best use of our resources will bring us economic and environmental benefits, and I intend to carry on working hard with local authorities to help them to continue to improve.”