England recycling rate rises by just 0.1%

NEW FIGURES released by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, revealed that England’s annual rate of household waste recycling only increased by 0.1% in 2013.

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The ‘Provisional Statistics on waste managed by local authorities in England including October to December 2013’, published last week, showed that the amount of household waste recycled in 2013 was only marginally up from 44.1% in 2012 to 42.2%.


However, the recycling rate for all local authority managed waste, which is a combination of waste from households, streets, parks and some commercial and industrial waste, fell 42.3% (10.6 million tonnes) in 2013.


The new figures appear to show a worrying trend that recycling rates in England still remain low. The final annual results will be issued in November but if rates do not increase then the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has warned that England’s recycling level will not meet the EU’s target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020.


Some key findings from the quarterly report include:


  • Total waste from households dropped by 1.8% to 21.6 million tonnes in 2013 – the equivalent of 403 kilogrammes per person.
  • The majority of waste (45%) was either landfilled or incinerated, with 7.1 million tonnes landfilled and 2.7 million tonnes sent for incineration.
  • 40% of household recycling was made up of organic waste.
  • Paper and card made up the majority of dry recycled waste (42%) from households.
  • Plastic recycling increased by 11.9% in 2013, however it still only accounts for 7% of household waste recycling.
  • The quarterly rate of household recycling (October – December 2013) reached 42.7%, up from 41.5% in the same quarter in 2012.


Read the full report here.