Going up? Local authority league table 2013/14

This article was taken from Issue 79

Be not deceived by government denials: waste management performance in England has hit a wall. While elsewhere the devolved administrations continue to reap benefits from ambition and some investment, the trend of year-on-year increased recycling rates looks to be over.

Once again, Resource’s compilation of both national and individual councils’ waste management performance throws a focus on residual arisings per capita, as well as recycling rates and the total waste arisings. We continue to hold the view that residual waste per capita is the single best measure of how well we are doing in pursuit of the ideal state of zero waste, though other measures are also important in establishing the most efficient flow of resources.

Our table of national performance in the UK covers the year 2013 to ensure fair comparison between all countries, given SEPA’s decision to report Scotland’s figures for the calendar year, putting it out of step with the rest of the UK (more on this shortly). In doing this, it is important to recognise that the winter of 2013 was considerably drier than normal, and according to Defra, green waste arisings for Quarter 1 of this year were 27 per cent lower than in 2012.