Municipal waste figures show a total decrease in waste arisings by three per cent and an increase in recycling by two per cent in England during the recession, according the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
It has published provisional estimates from the departments survey of municipal waste, incorporating the first quarter of the 2008/2009 financial year (October to December 2008). These results are based on information supplied by local authorities to WasteDataFlow.
The WasteDataFlow is a web-based system for municipal waste data reporting (see MRW story).
Total municipal waste decreased by 0.8 million tonnes in the year to end December 2008, decreasing from 28.5 million tonnes to 27.7 million tonnes. There was also a decrease in total household waste from 25.3 to 24.6 million tonnes. Less waste was sent to landfill, decreasing from 15.5 to 14.2 million tonnes.
There was an increase in the household recycling rate, from the average rate of 34.5 per cent between April 2007 and March 2008 to 36.9 per cent between January and December 2008.
A Defra spokeswoman told MRW: These results are encouraging, as despite the economic downturn, Englands recycling rates stayed strong and less waste was sent to landfill. It shows that local authorities and the public remain committed to recycling, and cutting the annual amount of waste sent to landfill by 22kg per person is a tremendous achievement.
The estimates for January to March 2009 will be published in early November and the final annual set of data for the financial year 2008/09 will also be published then.