20 December 2016 by Tom Goulding

Suez updates heat map of local authority recycling

A heat map providing the most up to date statistics for local authority recycling across the UK has been unveiled by waste management firm Suez.

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The analysis, which has been conducted by Suez with Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, shows the latest datasets for England and Wales (2015/16), Scotland (2015) and Northern Ireland (2014/15).

The colour coordinated map is split into six categories, with councils scoring 60% or more on household recycling and composting highlighted in dark green, while those at 30% or less are shown as dark red.

There appears to be little correlation between region and recycling performance, though the worst recycling performers appear to be concentrated in the South East of England amid the London authorities and Portsmouth, Brighton and Southampton.

The majority of English councils fall between the 40% and 50% recycling range.

Scotland also presents a mixed picture, with 50-60% recycling in the South East lowland counties and lower recycling rates recorded in the West, in the Highlands and in Skye.

Northern Ireland meanwhile has recorded rates between 30% and 60%, though like Scotland no authorities appear to have breached the vaunted 60% barrier.

Wales is predominantly green, having this year reached an internal recycling average of more than 60%. However, the figures should be treated with caution as the Welsh authorities are permitted to count incinerator bottom ash (IBA) recycling towards their rates.

The map has been developed with data sourced from Defra, WRAP, Resource, StatsWales, SEPA, the Department of the Environment Northern Ireland and the ONS and is due to be launched as an ‘interactive’ version in the coming days.

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