England recycling rate rose in 2017

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
England's household recycling rate fell by 0.3 percentage points in 2017/18

England’s recycling rate rose by 0.3 percentage points to 45.2% in 2017.

Total ‘waste from households’ in England decreased by 1.5% in 2017 to 22.4 million tonnes from 22.8 million tonnes in 2016.

Yet this was complicated by the falling recycling rate in the 2017/18 financial year, thought to have been caused by China's restriction on imports of recycled materials.

The drop was two percentage points down on the same period in the previous financial year 2016/17.

Waste from households also decreased by 2.3% to 22.2m tonnes.

There was a wide variation in household waste recycling rates amongst individual local authorities, ranging from 14 to 64% in 2017/18.

East Riding of Yorkshire achieved the highest household recycling rate at 64%, while Newham achieved just a 14% recycling household recycling rate.

Local authorities with the largest increase in household waste recycling rates over the last 12 months were Stroud District Council (61%) Sutton LB (50%) and Colchester Borough Council (55 per cent).

Waste sent for incineration has continued to rise and was up by 0.7m tonnes to 10.8m tonnes.

In 2017/18, 42% of all waste was sent to incineration.

Dry recycling was down each quarter. This has been driven mainly by the reduction in paper and card sent for recycling but there were also decrease for WEEE and other scrap metal.

David Palmer-Jones, CEO of SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said: “Today’s annual recycling statistics unfortunately continue to show that the country remains in the recycling doldrums, after more than a decade of hard-won behavioural change.

“The lack of progress is a reflection of the challenges facing the global recycling market; cuts to consumer communication and perhaps consumer apathy and the majority of domestic political activity being focussed on other areas in recent years.”

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