Defra’s figures published today (25 September) confirm that it is “touch and go” as to whether the UK will meet the EU’s basic recycling target of 50 percent by 2020.
Defra’s waste data for 2010-2012 shows that the overall recycling rate in England continued to show little increase – from 42.9 percent in 2011 to 43.9 percent in 2012.
Waste arisings produced by UK households fell from an estimated 27m tonnes to around 26m tonnes during this time.
The amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) sent to landfill across the whole of the UK fell by seven percent.
The data shows the UK met its target under the Landfilll Directive, which states BMW sent to landfill should be no greater than 75 percent of the 1995 tonnage by 2010.
Dan Cooke, Viridor – “Defra’s figures published today confirm that we are still not making the progress required of us and it remains touch and go as to whether the UK will meet the EU’s basic recycling target of 50 percent by 2020″
A Defra spokesperson said: “We are committed to recycling 50 percent of our household waste by 2020 – the significant progress we’ve made over the past ten years reflects a great deal of hard work by local authorities and a desire from householders to recycle more.
“We continue to support local authorities’ efforts to promote recycling and are working with WRAP to see what more we can do and what further measures may be needed to achieve this.”
Dan Cooke, Director of External Affairs, Viridor, said of the data: “Defra’s figures published today confirm that we are still not making the progress required of us and it remains touch and go as to whether the UK will meet the EU’s basic recycling target of 50 percent by 2020.
“We must continue to challenge ourselves to do more if the UK is to truly deliver a circular economy.
“The fact is we will only be successful in significantly reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering waste to move us towards delivering a more circular economy if society shares our view that waste should be seen as a valuable resource. It is essential that we continue to work in partnership with national and local government to ensure recycling is as simple as possible and to engage with business and local communities to further increase participation and the quality approach required.
“We recognise our responsibility to ensure that the benefits of our £1.5bn investment in next generation recycling and recovery infrastructure is understood. However, we need government to intervene to address instances of poor practice to reduce levels of waste crime that is currently having a negative reputational and economic impact on the waste sector.
“What’s more, the government must also look to actively encourage more recycling and a greater level of our waste to be diverted from landfill to energy recovery facilities in the UK. Limiting the increasing amounts of poorly-managed waste being ‘exported’ (at a cost) to the EU in particular would support domestic jobs and investment and allow the UK to maximise the potential of a national renewable resource to help power and assist with the UK’s energy security.”
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