Wales holds its head high on recycling

Wales is the first country in the UK to adopt statutory targets for recycling.

The Waste (Wales) Measure received Royal Approval on 15 December, the final step in the legislation process.

Wales has statutory targets in place for diverting biodegradable waste from landfill. Every local authority in Wales has met the targets, which has resulted in a 39% reduction of food waste going to landfill.

The statutory recycling targets for municipal waste were set out in Wales' waste strategy 'Towards Zero Waste'. The first statutory target will be 52 per cent in 2012-2013, rising gradually to 70 per cent by 2025.

The Welsh Assembly Government is consulting on the definitions of recycling, preparation for re-use and composting; the monitoring arrangements and the financial penalties for not meeting statutory targets.

Environment minister Jane Davidson, who introduced the Measure, said: "I am proud that Wales will be the first country in the UK to introduce statutory recycling targets.

"Its success in reducing the amount of biodegradable waste to landfill, and with every local authority meeting every target, shows us just how powerful statutory targets can be.

"Recycling rates in Wales have increased by more than anywhere else in the UK in the past decade; Welsh councils must take credit for this." 

The Waste Measure also includes the power to require retailers to donate net profits from the sale of single-use carrier bags to environmental causes if a voluntary agreement with retailers is not successful.

It will introduce regulations about a fees and charging scheme for site waste management plans for the construction and demolition sector.

Alison Brown



Waste & resource management
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