The Welsh government has targeted recycling at least 50% of its waste in 2012, a minister has announced.
Welsh environment minister John Griffiths praised Welsh residents and councils for helping achieve the best recycling rate in the UK but warned they could not “rest on their laurels” if tough longer term ambitions were to be achieved.
He added: “A bit of extra thought and effort from all of us around how we manage our waste should ensure that 2012 is the year in which recycling in Wales peaks above the significant 50% milestone. This means recycling wherever possible and separating out food waste to prevent it clogging up landfill sites.
“Hitting 50% recycling would be a massive achievement and would mean that we are diverting more than half our waste away from landfill and gaining value from the majority of our rubbish.”
Recycling in Wales has risen from 7% in 2000/01 to 48% between April and June 2011.
Wales is the only country in the UK to have introduced statutory targets for municipal recycling.
The first statutory target for local authorities is for 52% for 2012/13. The Welsh Government has targeted a 70% recycling rate by 2025 and to be zero waste by 2050.