During 2011/12, 48 per cent of municipal waste was recycled or composted in Wales, a 4 percentage point increase on 2010/11’s figure of 44 per cent. The figures put Wales firmly on track to reach its 2012-2013 statutory target of 52 per cent.
Recycling in Wales has increased significantly in recent years and the nation has enjoyed a series of waste milestones. These include it being:
* the only country in the UK to introduce statutory recycling targets for municipal waste;
* the only country in the UK in which all local authorities operate a separate food or food and green waste collection;
* the first country in the UK to introduce the Landfill Allowances Scheme;
* the first country in the UK to introduce charges for single-use carrier bags.
“One reason for our good progress is that every local authority in Wales offers weekly food collection services. Separating out food waste not only diverts significant waste away from landfill, it also makes us far more aware of the food we are wasting, which can often result in reduced waste and lower food bills,” says Environment Minister John Griffiths. “The key thing now is that we continue to build on our recycling success so that we can meet our challenging targets of 70% recycling by 2025 and zero waste by 2050.”
He adds: “I am very hopeful that this summer will see us breaking the 50% barrier. Not only does recycling divert rubbish away from landfill and reduce carbon emissions, it also saves on energy and ensures we are reusing precious resources that would otherwise rot in the ground.”