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Wales increases recycling by 8 percentage points between 2007 and 2010

The percentage of municipal waste sent for recycling, reuse and composting in Wales increased eight percentage points (pp) between March 2007 and 2010, according to figures released by the Welsh Assembly today.

The figures, compiled from all 22 Welsh local authorities using the WasteDataFlow system, found that the country sent 37% of its municipal waste arisings for recycling or reuse between January and March 2010, up 8pp from the same period in 2007 when only 29% was recycled or reused.

Total municipal waste arisings also fell between 2007 and 2010, with 374,000 tonnes generated by Wales in the first three months of the year. This is a reduction of 55,000 tonnes from the first period of 2007, when 429,000 tonnes were generated.

Welsh environment minister Jane Davidson said: “I am delighted that in 2009–10, Wales recycled more than ever before, despite the terrible winter which made composting almost impossible for a time. I am confident that without these tough conditions we would have been able to recycle more than 40% of our waste.”

The announcement of the increase in recycling levels comes days after the Welsh Assembly opened consultation on a municipal sector plan (MSP), designed to provide specific strategies for reducing municipal waste arisings in Wales to meet the 2025 target of 70% waste sent for recycling or composting.

The MSP will focus on reinforcing the important role that local authorities play by engaging with householders and communities to reduce waste put out for collection, helping to increase ‘waste awareness’ through the development of educational campaigns, and supporting new waste collection technologies and waste treatments.

WRAP Cymru manager Beth Winkley said: “The MSP maps out the direction of travel to achieve zero waste by 2050. By placing the emphasis on waste prevention and re-use, it aims to stop waste occurring in the first place.”

The MSP consultation period will close on 13 September 2010.

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