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Household waste recycling rate drops

Defra’s latest household waste recycling figures show a 0.7% drop from the same quarter for the previous year.

In the three months from October to December 2014, the rate was 42%, lower than the 42.7% figure for the same period for 2013.

The report said the fall was largely driven by a 5.2% decrease in ‘other organics’ recycling. For the period this made up 13.9% of total recycling compared with 14.7% in 2013.

It said: “Garden waste forms part of the ‘other organics’ recycling, and weather has a large influence on the amount of garden waste produced.”

But for the calendar year 2014, household waste recycling reached a record high of 44.8%, up from 44.2% in 2013. The report says this was driven by a 9.9% increase in organics recycling compared to the previous 12 months in 2013.

The yearly figure is still short of the EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020.

As it stands, the annual rate would need to increase by at least 1% a year to meet the figure.

FCC Environment previously said there must be more investment in infrastructure and market growth if the UK is to meet its target.

Defra’s latest figures also show local authority-managed waste going to landfill in 2014 was down by 14.8% on the previous year while waste sent for incineration increased by 31.7%.

Local authorities sent 17% of waste they collected to incineration in 2014.

The term ‘other organics’ includes green garden waste, mixed garden and food waste, wood for composting and other compostable waste.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Green waste tonnages through our facilities have dropped because leaf sweepings now have to be land filled. As this is replicated throughout the country without an accepted alternative recycling process accepted by clear guidance that can be consistently enforced by the EA - it is not a surprise that recycling figures are going backwards.

    When will all resource users become accountable for seeing their waste as a valuable resource that can be used in a sustainable way?

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