UK's annual recycling rate rises according to new Defra statistics

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Figures showed the UK’s overall recycling rates, which now includes IBA metal, raised from 44.6% in 2015 to 45.2% in 2016
Recycling rates still in stasis and a more concerted effort required from policy drivers such as ...

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The UK's recycling rate for household waste has risen by 0.6 percentage points, according to Defra's UK statistics on waste.

Figures showed the UK’s overall recycling rates, which now includes IBA metal, raised from 44.6% in 2015 to 45.2% in 2016.

All UK countries improved their recycling rates, with England recycling 44.9%of its household waste, compared with 43% in Northern Ireland, 42.8% in Scotland and 57.3% in Wales.

Recycled or recovered packaging waste was at a rate of 71.4% in the UK, an increase of 6.7% in just one year.

Biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) sent to landfill in 2016 remained at approximately 7.7m tonnes or 22% of the baseline value, meaning the UK is still on track to meet its EU target to restrict BMW landfilled to 35% by 2020.

Jacob Hayler, Environmental Services Association (ESA) executive director, said the results provided further proof that on current policies, the UK will not reach its target of 50% recycling by 2020.

He said: “As ESA has already pointed, Defra’s impending Resources and Waste Strategy will need to address the issue of sustainable markets for recyclable materials, as well as the UK’s residual waste capacity gap.”

The ESA also welcomed the revised estimated figures of generation of commercial and industrial (C&I), which was set at 41.9m tonnes for the UK in 2014. The figure generated in England was decreased from 32.8m tonnes to 32.3m tonnes in 2016.

Hayler added: “Last year, ESA members raised concerns about the data published by Defra on this waste stream, which in their view significantly underestimated the amount of waste out there.

“The new approach tallies better with industry’s own analysis and other data sets, which gives more confidence and clarity around the reported figures, and establishes a better platform for understanding future trends and changes."


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Comments
Hi Jayne,

These are the latest statistics which were released by government last week. The full data set for 2017 is yet to be confirmed.

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why are you reporting on 2016 data? 2017 data is almost ready?

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I recommend not calling them "recycling rates", but call them by their name: "NI192 i.e. percentage of waste sent for reuse, recycling and composting". I recommend the whole country to start separating food for anaerobic digestion, and the whole country to start giving free reusable bags to residents for separating recycling internally at home, in every room of the house where significant amounts of waste are generated.

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Recycling rates still in stasis and a more concerted effort required from policy drivers such as mandatory food waste collections required or we will fail to make any headway. Look at the devolved Nations for a good example!

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