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On target for 25% recycling says DEFRA

England is on track to meet its targeted 25% recycling rate by 2006, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) annual report.

Released this week, the report stated that although DEFRA recognises the target as a major challenge, "the acceleration of the Department's rate of progress confirms that the 25% target is within reach".

In 2004, England's national average recycling rate was 17.7% and despite this figure having only moved up by 4% in the last four years, DEFRA was confident the country could make a jump of 7% in a two-year period.

The millions invested under DEFRA's Five Year Strategy was credited with driving this change and Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said: "These are challenging times for the Department. Although more needs to be done, with businesses, the public sector, voluntary and community organisations, communities and families needing to make more sustainable choices, it is clear to me that we have achieved a lot since Defra was created. And I am confident that with the real progress we have made so far we will deliver our ambitious agenda."

The findings of DEFRA's annual report were in stark contrast with the Environment Agency's review of the environment in England and Wales, which was released earlier this month (see MRW story). It said that England wasn't recycling enough to get near the 2006 target.

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