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England’s Recycling Rate Reaches 44.8 Percent

Friday, August 14, 2015

The latest provisional figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) indicate that England’s household recycling rate has again crept up, and is now just shy of 45%.

The figures, realised this week, indicate an increase in the ‘waste from households’ recycling rate, which also includes composting and preparing for reuse activities, by 0.6% in 2014 compared to 2013.  This edges the overall household recycling rate for England to 44.8%. 

This increase is believed to be due to a rise in the recycling of organics, such as food waste and garden waste, which rose by 9.9% during 2014.

However, despite this increase in recycling performance, the amount of total waste being produced by England’s households has also seen a rise, with total waste production adding up to 22.4 million tonnes in 2014; an increase of 3.7% when compared to the previous 12 months.  

Defra have also reported that the tonnage of materials recycled, composted and prepared for reuse increased by 5.2% to 10 million tonnes but that residual waste (or black bag, general waste) also increased, rising by 2.5% in the last 12 months to 12.3 million tonnes.

The report also highlighted how local authority managed waste going to landfill fell during 2014 by 14.8%, whilst local authority waste being sent for incineration increased during the same period by 31.7%.  This highlights the significant efforts many councils have made in the last 12 months to divert waste from landfill, which has inevitably generated a greater reliance on incineration, energy from waste and other recovery activities.

Despite this, overall total disposal of waste to landfill and incineration was reported as being 1.1% lower than the same period in 2013.

The full statistics are available to view here

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