Waste Recycling – UK is 10th across Europe

I picked this useful information up from a Waste Care newsletter and thought it worth sharing.

The United Kingdom and Italy tied for tenth place among the top-ranked municipal waste recyclers in Europe during 2015, figures published at the end of January by the European Union’s statistics body Eurostat suggest.

According to the figures, which are submitted on behalf of the EU’s 27 member states, as well as other European nations including Norway, Switzerland and Montenegro, the UK’s combined recycling and composting rate stood at 43.5% in 2015, down from 43.7% a year earlier.

Germany hung onto its spot at the top of the league table, with an overall recycling rate of 66.1% for 2015, a slight improvement on its previous performance, comfortably clear of the second top performing nation Austria, whose recycling rate stood at 56% for the year.

On average, EU member states recycled 45.2% of their municipal waste, the data suggests. Data outlining the amount of waste land filled per country has yet to be published.

Compared to its 2014 ranking, the UK dropped one place, largely due to an apparent surge in recycling in Slovenia – which leapt from a 36% recycling rate in 2014 to 54.1% in 2015.

Elsewhere the data also offers a breakdown of waste generated and treated per person, suggesting that across the continent in 2015 around 477kg of municipal waste was generated per person, an increase from the 474kg recorded in 2014 – the first such rise since 2007. Despite this increase, waste generation per person is down by 9% compared with its peak of 527kg per person in 2002.

With thanks to Waste Care for the lead to this posting.

Household Waste Recycling – England set to miss waste targets

Official figures from Defra have revealed that household waste recycling rates in England stagnated last year, at 44.2%, compared to 44.1% in 2012.

If the UK fails to recycle less than 50% of household waste by 2020 it could face fines from Brussels in excess of £500,000 a day.

Lydiate Parish Cllr. Robbie Fenton campaigning for recycling in Sefton

Lydiate Parish Cllr. Robbie Fenton campaigning for recycling in Sefton

Recycling industry bosses said the target looked increasingly unlikely to be met, citing a decline in the amount of paper and packaging being used. David Palmer-Jones, head of recycling firm SITA UK, said radical measures to increase recycling rates may be needed. He raised the prospects of “skinny” wheelie bins to limit black bag waste physically, or council tax discounts for high recycling rates.

The Times and Daily Telegraph covered this story.

My concern here is why are some of us so reluctant to recycle? Is it laziness? Surely this is major issue not from the fines perspective but from us not realising that if we don’t recycle we will run out of some commodities and if things become scarce it will push prices up. Recycling is a no-brainer so it needs to be pushed hard with school children in particular.