Page last updated at 05:43 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 06:43 UK

Recycling target of 70% by 2025

A landfill site
Waste sent to landfill can produce methane, a climate change gas

Tough new waste recycling targets are being proposed for homes and businesses across Wales from 2025.

The Welsh Assembly Government's strategy would see at least 70% of domestic and municipal waste and 90% of construction waste recycled.

The Welsh average for recycling is around 36% at present, with figures from the end of 2008 showing the amount of domestic waste falling from 2007.

The assembly is starting a three-month consultation on the strategy.

The proposals would promote more coordinated recycling facilities and look to boost jobs in the "green" sector.

The strategy is designed to reduced Wales' ecological footprint so people live within the earth's available resources.

At present each person in Wales has a "footprint" of 5.16 hectares, compared with the sustainable level of 1.88 global hectares per person.

Looking further into the future, the assembly government wants Wales to become a zero waste nation by 2050.

Waste in Wales
Municipal waste Oct-Dec 2007 - 404,636
Municipal waste Oct-Dec 2008 - 388,117
Share of municipal waste recycled Oct-Dec 2008 - 35%

Environment, Sustainability and Housing Minister Jane Davidson said: "What we do with our waste reflects how we treat our country and planet. We can no longer simply bury waste in the land to rot.

"We need to act now for the sake of our country. Will we be able to look our grandchildren in the eye and say we did all we could to protect where they live?

"There are tremendous opportunities to save money and create high quality industry in Wales by using the valuable material resources contained in waste."

Ms Davidson said focusing on eliminating waste was essential to get Wales living within its resources.

"Within our small nation we are using 2.7 planets' worth of resources to sustain our lifestyles.

"Unchecked, this could rise by 20% by 2020, the equivalent of 3.3 planets' worth of resources. We cannot go on like this."

'Level playing field'

The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) called the 70% waste target "challenging yet very aspirational".

A spokeswoman said: "Councils are already more than exceeding their waste targets set by the Welsh Assembly Government and will continue to deliver provided they are adequately supported both in terms of adequate funding and producer responsibility.

"On that basis, we particularly welcome the 70% target set today for the other sectors.

"For a long time local government has argued that there needs to be a level playing field when it comes to waste management.

Waste reduction company WRAP Cymru will be working on developing Wales' infrastructure for recycling and reprocessing waste with the assembly government.

Chief executive Liz Goodwin said: "In developing Wales' recycling infrastructure, we will also help boost the Welsh economy, through job creation in the sector

"The ultimate goal of enabling waste produced in Wales to be processed within its own borders is a challenge we are determined to respond to."

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