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Progress on Waste Strategy is good, says Government

In its annual report on the Waste Strategy 2007/08, the Government has said it is making good progress in the main [performance] indicators.

In nine out of the 15 national level indicators the Government had reached its desired targets.

However, the remaining six were either below target or there was insufficient data to provide results.

Progress highlights included a 22% decrease in household waste per head from 2000/01 to 2006/07 and early indications that there has been an increase in household reuse, recycling and composting of 33% for the year end September 2007. Municipal waste recovery was also up by 44% for this 12 month period.

Energy recovered from waste was up by 3% from 2005 to 2006, while total waste to landfill had dropped by 20% between 2000/01 and 2006 from 80 million tonnes to 65 million tonnes. regress

Despite good progress in some areas, two indicators showed regression. Fly-tipping had increased by 5% from 2005/06 to 2006/07 and hazardous waste arisings had also increased by 14% from 2004 to 2006.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it needed to identify whether this was an increase in reported fly-tipping, an increase in actual activity or an improvement in information local authorities provide to the Fly Capture database. But Defra said it expects fly-tipping to decrease in 2007/08.

Insufficient data for the last four categories mean that progress was not tracked for carbon emissions or waste arising, waste reused and total waste landfilled by key sectors.

But the report also said that the amounts of commercial and industrial waste being sent to landfill continue to fall. It said alternative indicators showed this has fallen from an estimated 27 million tonnes in 2000/01 to 20.7 million tonnes in 2006, which equals a decrease of 23%.

Defra also said there is a great deal of scope for improvement in non-municipal waste data, which it plans to work on as a priority. The Waste Data Strategy is also in place to move away from survey based estimates for C+I data to using returned figures. But it admitted there were still data gaps and said it was working actively to improve the coverage and quality of its waste data.

Image: Some Waste Strategy indicators showed progress but fly-tipping had increased by 5%.

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