The strategy, published in October 2010, aims to reduce the country’s total emissions by 3% per year.

While the waste sector is responsible for a very small proportion of emissions covered by the 3% target, it does contribute to a high amount of emissions for sectors where the Welsh Government can take direct action.

Studies from the Climate Change Strategy for Wales report show a fall in greenhouse gas emissions from waste activities in Wales from just over 1.1 MtCo2e/year in 2006 to just over 1.0 MtCo2e/year in 2009.

Baseline emissions for 2010 have yet to be published, but the 3% target level set for 2020 is just under 0.8 MtCo2e/year.

In addition, Wales currently has the highest recycling rates in the UK – it is expected to hit an average rate of 50% later this year, which is well on the way to its 2012-13 target of 52%.

Municipal waste arisings in the country continue to fall. Latest figures show 388,000 tonnes were generated from July to September 2011, a 5% drop compared to the same quarter in the previous year.

The Welsh Government is looking to build on its achievements by targeting methane emissions from landfill sites. The Environment Agency is set to increase the number of sites it audits from 30 to 50 per year.

Meanwhile the Welsh Government has published a report listing how each local authority in Wales disposed of its waste for the six months from October 2010 to March 2011.

Members of the public will be able to see where their waste has ended up. The report concentrates on how sustainably each local authority has recycled the plastics, glass, metals, paper and card waste it collected from residents and businesses.

During the six months under review almost 60,000 tonnes of waste was processed into new materials or products and nearly 50,000 tonnes composted. Just less than 10,000 tonnes of waste was recycled and nearly 10,000 sent to landfill.

Maxine Perella

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