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Household recycling rate up just 0.5%

Households recycle three times what they did 10 years ago, government data has revealed.

But the Defra provisional figures for England show the recycling rate in the year to the end of June 2011 was 42%, up just 0.5 percentage points from the year to the end of March 2011.

The figures suggest the rise in recycling rates was continuing to slow.

Environment minister Lord Taylor said: “Over the last 10 years recycling has become part of our daily lives. We’re recycling more than ever before, which means less waste is now being sent to lie rotting in landfill.

“But we can’t be complacent if we want to make further progress. Working with councils and businesses, we are determined to make it as easy as possible for people to do the right thing to achieve our ultimate aim of a zero waste economy.”

Environmental Services Association director of policy Matthew Farrow said: “We are pleased to see that household recycling has increased to 42% and that the proportion of local authority collected waste disposed of into landfill has been halved over the last 10 years.

“However, these provisional statistics also remind us that we still send over 11 million tonnes of waste to landfill each year, and suggest that increases in recycling rates may be slowing.

“The UK is still some way away from reaching the EU target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020 and we all need to do more. ESA’s members are keen to work with local authorities to continue driving recycling rates upward.”

The provisional figures show:

  • Household recycling has increased to 42%.
  • Household waste has decreased to 23.2 million tonnes. This continues the reduction of household waste since 2007/08.
  • Waste per person has decreased - the weight of household waste was 445kg per person.  Of this total, 187kg was recycled, composted or reused whilst 258kg was not.
  • Local authority collected waste sent to landfill has declined to 11 million tonnes.  This continues the decrease of waste sent to landfill since 2002/03.

Readers' comments (1)

  • DEFRA are spinning slow progress to push their incineartor agenda. Statistics are normally presented as annual changes. recycling is up 2% compared with same qtr in 2010. Landilling is down 12.7%. Not the tiny progress that DEFRA spin.

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