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UK breaks into EU recycling league top ten

The UK has surpassed the average European recycling and composting rate, figures for 2012 have revealed.

The latest available EU-wide data indicated the UK recycled or composted 46% of its municipal waste, above an average of 42% for EU countries.

This represented an improvement from the 39% rate of 2011, which brought the UK below an European average of 40%.

In 2012 recycling was up three percentage points to 28% and composting increased four percentage points to 18%.

This positioned the UK among the 10 best performers in Europe.

Germany and Austria headed the league with recycling and composting rates of 65% and 62%, respectively, followed by Belgium on 57%, The Netherlands and Switzerland, 50% and Luxembourg, Slovenia and Sweden on 47%.

But the UK’s 37% landfill rate was still above a European average of 34%. Romania was the only current European member state to landfill almost all its municipal waste.

Incineration in the UK reached 17%, up from 11% in 2011 but well below an EU average of 24%.

The statistics provided by Eurostat relates to municipal waste, which consists to a large extent of waste generated by households, but may also include similar wastes generated by small businesses and public institutions and collected by local authorities.

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