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Quarterly waste stats could end in March

Defra has proposed reducing its publication of English council waste collection statistics to yearly, with the last quarterly figures to be released in March.

The department’s proposal document cites legal requirement, high policy need, alternative source and cost impact as reasons for the change, with the annual cost of the current procedure rated as ’high’.

“Initial views from policy colleagues and a selection of local authority representatives is that they would not be overly concerned about reducing the frequency of publication of the statistics releases from quarterly to annually,” the document reads.

It adds that councils will be able to retain quarterly reporting with interim reports available through WasteDataFlow, the website where the data is lodged.

In a reference to England’s flatlining recycling rates, former Defra waste official Phillip Ward posted on social media: ”Why not – after all everything is obviously under control! They certainly don’t change much quarter to quarter.”

England’s recycling rate for 2014 was 44.8%, up from 44.2% in 2013.

The consultation will run to 24 March.

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