The Welsh government has announced a “record high” recycling rate of 65.14% for 2019/20, exceeding its 64% statutory target set in its ‘Towards Zero Waste’ strategy.
The statistics published yesterday (26 November) show that 18 of 22 local authorities delivered against the target, with Cardiff, Neath Port Talbot, Caerphilly and Powys falling short.
Three councils — Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Vale of Glamorgan — all recorded rates above 70%.
This year is the first that the 64% statuary recycling target has been in place, having previously been at 58% since 2015/16. The next target will be set at 70% by 2025.
The figures show that 1.51 million tonnes of local authority municipal waste was generated in 2019/20, a decrease of almost 2% and the lowest reported figure to date.
Of this, 980,000 tonnes were recycled, an increase of last year’s tonnage of 968,000.
A further 7.6% was sent to landfill, which the government says means it has hit its 10% landfill target set for 2019/20 in the Towards Zero Waste strategy.
The Welsh government explained the increase in 2019-20 is “predominantly due to more food and wood waste being reported as recycled compared to 2018-19″.
Last year, Wales sent 310,000 tonnes of organic waste for recycling, with this year’s number standing at 324,000.
It added that more plastic, glass and incinerator bottom ash was also reported as sent for recycling.
The range of recycling rates across the local authorities varied from 58.1 per cent in Cardiff to 71.7 per cent in Pembrokeshire.
A third of all material collected for reuse/recycling/composting in 2019-20 was organic, while co-mingled materials accounted for 18% of all waste collected of reuse/recycling/composting.
Welcoming the achievement, environment minister Lesley Griffiths said: “For Wales as a whole to exceed the target in the first year is testament to the considerable effort everyone has put in.
We could not have achieved a record year for recycling in Wales without the hard work of our local authorities and households across Wales and I’d like to particularly congratulate those authorities who have exceeded the next target five years early.”
“Wales is already a recycling nation and we are rightly proud of our achievements. These figures not only show that we are on track in meeting our goal of zero waste by 2050, but also show the progress being made towards a circular, low carbon economy.”