New figures reveal that every local authority in Wales has met strict limits, set by the Assembly Government, on the amount of biodegradable waste they can send to landfill sites.
All 22 local authorities in Wales achieved their 2007/08 allowance obligations, highlighted in the Environment Agency Wales Report of the landfill allowances scheme 2007/8.
The Landfill Allowance Schemes (LAS) limits the amount of biodegradable waste councils are allowed to send to landfill, instead encouraging the recycling, composting and treatment of this waste.
Welsh local authorities sent 680,912 tonnes of waste to landfill compared to the 2007/8 allowance allocation of 866,000 tonnes.
Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing Jane Davidson said: These figures show clearly that nationally Wales is ahead of the target set for diverting biodegradable municipal waste from landfill, which in addition to reducing the amount of rubbish that goes into landfill also helps in the battle of climate change.
As a nation we need to reduce the amount of waste that we send to landfill as this is the least sustainable method of managing our waste. We need a concerted effort by everyone, both householders and businesses, to achieve more recycling and less landfill.
Davidson said that local authorities in Wales also needed to look at ways of recycling food
waste in order to meet the next EU target set for 2013.
Food waste is an area of great potential and exploiting this will be essential if we are to continue to increasing the amount of waste we recycle and divert from landfill. There are significant opportunities to generate renewable energy through the use of anaerobic digestion of this food waste.
Environment Agency Wales director Chris Mills said that the results showed great progress but more recycling needed to be done to build on this.