Wales recycles 53 per cent of waste in Q1 2012/13

Welsh councils have collectively recycled 53 per cent of their municipal waste in the first quarter of 2012/13.

The figure, released in the ‘Municipal Waste Management Release, April - June 2012’ today (22 November) is two per cent higher than the recycling rate for the same period in 2011/12.

The Welsh Government has said that these figures signal that the country is on target to meet its first statutory recycling target of 52 per cent for the year 2012/13.

John GriffithsWelsh Environment Minister, John Griffiths, announced the results this morning at the Waun Gron recycling centre in Cardiff, saying: “I am delighted that Wales is now recycling or composting more than half of its municipal waste. These impressive statistics are the result of the hard work of Wales’s local authorities, and the excellent efforts of householders in separating out their waste for recycling.

“This achievement is largely the result of every local authority in Wales providing a weekly food collection service and householders embracing the system so enthusiastically. Separating out food waste not only diverts significant waste away from landfill, it also makes us far more aware of the food we are wasting, which can often result in reduced waste and lower food bills.”

Wales is the only country in the UK with self-imposed statutory recycling targets for municipal waste, which include reaching a 70 per cent recycling rate by 2025 and zero waste to landfill by 2050.

Local authorities with the highest recycling rates between April and June 2012 were: Denbighshire (60.5 per cent), Caerphilly (59.9 per cent), Monmouthshire (58.1 per cent), Vale of Glamorgan (57.8 per cent), Flintshire (57.7 per cent) and Conwy (57.5 per cent).

Speaking about the reason behind the high recycling rates, Griffiths said: “Wales is leading the way on recycling because the people of Wales are increasingly realising that burying their rubbish in the ground is no longer an option and are choosing more sustainable ways to manage their waste. I thank them for everything they have achieved to date.

“We must now keep the momentum going and continue to build on our recycling success so that we can meet our challenging targets of 70 per cent recycling by 2025 and zero waste by 2050.”

Other figures from the statistics show that the combined reuse/recycling/composting rate of local authority municipal waste remained at 50 per cent for the 12 months to the end of June 2012 (compared to 46 per cent for the 12 months to the end of June 2011), reaching a peak of 53 per cent in April to June 2012.

The total amount of local authority municipal waste generated in Wales also generally decreased, with the total tonnage three per cent lower (13,000 tonnes) than for the same quarter in 2011. Residual household waste produced per person in Wales also decreased, falling to 63 kilogrammes per person in April to June 2012, from 69 kilogrammes per person the year before.

Read the full figures in the ‘Municipal Waste Management Release, April - June 2012’ report.