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Wales eyes 80% recycling goal by 2035

The Welsh Government has confirmed that it is considering a target of 80% for the recycling of municipal waste by 2035.

Environment minister Hannah Blythyn (pictured) set out the aspiration during a keynote speech at the CIWM Resource Conference Cymru, where she spoke about the Welsh Government’s plans to maintain progress towards a sustainable future and the development of the Welsh green economy.

The 80% goal was first mentioned by Andy Rees, head of waste strategy at the Welsh Government, when he received the Editor’s Award at the National Recycling Awards last summer – although he said it would be “some time after 2025”.

Blythyn said that an independent evaluation of the Government’s waste strategy would include analysis of a potential target for councils to recycle 80% of municipal waste by 2035, and also look at alternative targets around carbon and specific wastes.

The evaluation will consider a behaviour change project to reduce the amount of recyclable waste being sent to landfill.

“In Wales we take our duty to achieve sustainable development very seriously,” Blythyn said. “We’ve extended our lead as the best household waste recycling nation in the UK to 12% above the UK average, putting us second in Europe and third in the world.”

Wales will consider updating current local authority recycling targets to align with the new EU definition of municipal waste, she said.

The conference also heard from Andrew Wilkinson, head of neighbourhood services for Conwy County Borough Council, who announced that a four-weekly residual waste collection would be implemented for households in the borough.

In February, councillors delayed the roll-out decision after a fractious meeting heard that residents were having problems with recycling. 

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