Research by bins retailer found that the UK’s national recycling rate of 39% for municipal solid waste (MSW) lags behind leading performer Austria, which has a 63% MSW recycling rate.

Austria is followed closely by Germany (62%) with Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden in the top five with 50%, 50% and 49% respectively.

The research team also confirmed that the USA recycles around 49% of its MSW, placing it joint fifth on the list with Sweden.

Overall, the UK is almost 25% behind leaders Denmark, suggesting much still needs to be done to reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill.

The findings surprised director Jon Horsfield, who said that Austria’s performance highlighted just what is possible.

“As a country, we all need to do a bit more and be more vigilant about separating out recyclable materials from our general household and business waste,” he said.

Horsfield claimed that his company’s recycling bins for home and businesses saved 1,200,000 litres of waste from landfill last year.

“Our aim for the next 12 months is to grow this figure substantially. As technology develops, more and more waste products can be reused and recycled.”

There is currently a 50% MSW recycling target, set for 2020.

Maxine Perella

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