Wales is on track to meet its 52% statutory recycling target for 2012/13, following a 4.4% increase over the past year to 43.6%.
Data provided by the Welsh Government shows the increase is greater than that seen in the previous year when the recycling rate rose by 3.4% to 39.3%.
Welsh Government environment minister John Griffiths said: “Wales’ recycling rate grew faster last year than in the previous year, but this is not cause for complacency. We must ensure that we create the conditions in which recycling can continue to grow, and we must ensure that Welsh residents feel the benefits of reducing their waste and recycling more.
He added that the key to increasing the recycling rate is to recycle food waste. “Our priority must be to stop wasting so much food, but for inevitable food wastes – potato peel, apple cores and the like – we need a more sustainable solution than burying it in landfill,” he said.
“Separate weekly food waste collections work on three counts: they keep food waste from landfill; they help people to see how much food they throw away so they can change their habits and save money; and – when combined with weekly collections of recycling - they mean that there is no need for residual waste collections every week.”
Around 82% of households currently recycle food waste. It will rise to 90% by the end of this year.