Wales has become the first country in the UK to set statutory recycling targets, following royal assent of the Waste (Wales) Measure.
With the final step in the legislation process now cleared, Welsh local authorities now have statutory requirements to achieve a 52% recycling rate for municipal waste in 2012-13, which will rise to 70% by 2025.
Decisions by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) over the monitoring of these targets and the system of financial penalties have not yet been taken and are currently undergoing stakeholder consultation.
Welsh environment minister Jane Davidson said: “I am proud that Wales will be the first country in the UK to introduce statutory recycling targets, just as we were the first to adopt the Landfill Allowances Scheme. Its success in reducing the amount of biodegradable waste to landfill, and with every local authority meeting every target, shows us just how powerful statutory targets can be.
“Recycling rates in Wales have increased by more than anywhere else in the UK in the past decade; Welsh councils must take credit for this. I want every local authority to meet every statutory recycling target, and I believe that by working closely together we can achieve this.”