Wales leads rest of UK on recycling

Official figures published by the Welsh government confirm that Wales has met its first annual statutory waste target by recycling more than 50% of rubbish collected by councils.

The new figures show that local authorities recycled or composted 52% of waste they gathered between April 2012 and March this year.

England’s recycling rate currently stands at 43.6%, Scotland at 41.2% and provisional data shows that Northern Ireland’s recycling rate will be below 41%.

Natural Resources Minister Alun Davies said: “Thanks to the efforts of Welsh householders and local authorities, we are now recycling more than half our municipal waste.  In the last decade the amount of black bin waste has decreased by more than 50%, which is a significant improvement.

“As a government we will continue to support local authorities as they work with us towards zero waste by 2050. In particular, we will be working proactively with those councils that need more support to increase their recycling rates.”

By March 2013 Denbighshire had the highest recycling rate with 58%, while Bridgend and Caerphilly had hit 57%. A second statutory recycling target of 58% is set for 2015-16.

Davies said: “I am very conscious of the challenges local authorities face, so this year I have made the decision to waive fines for those authorities that have not met the targets.  I expect those councils that missed the target to participate fully in the Collaborative Change Programme and the Welsh government will work constructively with councils to support their efforts.”

The Collaborative Change Programme provides specialist advice and support to enable local authorities to achieve future targets with efficient services within their means.

Liz Gyekye

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