Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 14:24 UK

Recycling figures show increase


Some councils in Wales have already met EU targets but others are risking large fines if they don't recycle more

New figures for recycling in Wales show that councils are composting and recycling more household waste.

Sustainability Minister Jane Davidson said "steady progress" was being made although some councils are lagging behind and could be fined.

On average in Wales, the amount of rubbish which is recycled has gone up from 27.7% to 32.2% - a rise of 4.5%.

Three councils have already surpassed the European target of recycling more than 40% of household waste by 2010.

The annual figures to March 2008 show that Merthyr Tydfil at 24% and Blaenau Gwent at 17% are lagging behind the likes of Powys, Conwy and Ceredigion, who are all above the magic 40% recycling figure.

The quarterly figures from April to June 2008 show that Merthyr had improved to 28% and Blaenau Gwent's recycling had gone up to 21.5%.

If local authorities do not reach the recycling and composting target of 40% by 2010 they will face heavy fines.

How easy do people find it to recycle?

In a statement released by Blaenau Gwent council, the authority said it was "fairly confident" it could achieve the 40% target and urged local people to help them.

"A marketing and publicity campaign has been launched to encourage more people to recycle and we also have an education officer who visits local schools to promote recycling among the younger generation," said the statement.

"We currently provide a comprehensive range of materials collected on the kerbside each week and are also rolling out a new weekly kerbside food waste and cardboard recycling collection scheme in November. We will be one of the first authorities in Wales to do this."

Overall however, the recycling picture for Wales as a whole has improved from April to June 2008 to 36%.

These quarterly figures also show that seven local authorities had gone above the 40% European target. They were Monmouthshire, Anglesey, Conwy, Ceredigion, Flintshire, Wrexham and Torfaen.

"I am delighted that these annual figures show steady progress in meeting our European recycling targets," said Ms Davidson.

"And I am confident from early indications of the first quarter of 2008-09 that we are continuing to go in the same upward direction."


Blaenau Gwent - 17%
Bridgend - 33%
Caerphilly - 27%
Cardiff - 27%
Carmarthenshire - 27%
Ceredigion - 47%
Conwy - 41%
Denbighshire - 29%
Gwynedd - 32%
Isle of Anglesey - 35%
Flintshire - 33%
Merthyr Tydfil - 24%
Monmouthshire - 35%
Neath Port Talbot - 27%
Newport - 35%
Pembrokeshire - 30%
Powys - 41%
Rhondda Cynon Taff - 32%
Swansea - 30%
Torfaen - 36%
Vale of Glamorgan - 34%
Wrexham - 36%
Wales average - 32.2%
Source: Welsh Assembly Government. Recycling and composting rates 2007/08

The latest figures show how Wales has come from third to second place in the four home nations.

The new figures come just weeks after figures showed that all 22 councils in Wales had met targets on the amount of biodegradable waste they could send to landfill sites.

The proportion of waste sent to landfill improved by five percentage points, falling to 64%.

Ms Davidson congratulated local authorities for their work during a visit to the Lamby Way Recycling Site run by Cardiff council.

"I am delighted to visit this recycling site which shows how local authorities are facing up to the challenge of changing the way we look at household rubbish," she said.

"We no longer think of it as waste to go to landfill - but we are now looking at what we throw away and considering whether we can recycle, re-use or reduce."

She said that local authorities in Wales now need to look at ways of recycling food waste to meet the next European target set at 15% for 2013.

Coun Aled Roberts of the Welsh Local Government Association, said waste management had been embraced as a number one priority by councils across Wales.

"This year, councils are already up by more than 4% on the amount of waste they recycle or compost which places them in an excellent position to exceed the first landfill directive target in 2009-2010 and avoid stringent fines.

"Councils must continue to build on their progress and continually improve their waste reduction performance by looking at every feasible option."

Food waste recycling site planned
05 Sep 08 |  South East Wales
Council tops 'green' league table
28 Feb 08 |  Mid Wales

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