According to Zero Waste Wales, the average figure of 52% recycling announced yesterday, however, is disguising the fact that some authorities in Wales are actually achieving over 60%.

Leading the country’s surge in recycling has been villagers in St Arvans near Chepstow and the 1,200 households (2500) citizens of Presteigne in Powys who achieved 75% recycling within a year and demonstrated that 90% is a possibility with further support.

Zero Waste Wales executive director Mal Williams said: “The Welsh performance marches forward year on year whilst DEFRA’s England is stuck in the rut of poor decision-making and lack of commitment. England is stuck at about 42% – just as the waste companies always predicted, is that a coincidence?”

He also commended the Welsh Government for researching, evaluating and recommending best practices to “those with the wit to listen”, and for backing its recommendations with intelligently applied resources.

“Wales has been vigorous in resisting the laziness of “business as usual” for the binmen and has spent nearly a billion pounds over the last ten years in investing properly in this paradigm shift in the way material resources are managed,” added Williams.

In March, the Welsh Government announced that Wales is recycling more than it is sending to landfill becoming the first country in the UK to achieve this.

According to a report, between April 2011 and March 2012 Wales’s local authorities reused or recycled almost 800,000 tonnes of waste, while the amount sent to landfill fell to around 700,000 tonnes.

Leigh Stringer

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