England recycling rate for 2019/20 sees 0.9% increase

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Data published by Defra last week shows a waste from households recycling rate of 45.5% for England in 2019, an increase of 0.9% from 2018.

The rolling 12-month ‘waste from households’ recycling rate was 45.5% at the end of March 2020, an increase of 0.4 percentage points compared with the previous twelve month period. The figures include IBA (incinerator bottom ash) metal.

In 2019, the total amount of waste recycled increased to 10.1 million tonnes, up from 9.8 million tonnes in 2018. 

The amount of residual waste treated was 12.0 million tonnes, down from 12.2 million tonnes in 2018, a decrease of 1.5 per cent. 

Total local authority managed waste ‘remained steady’ in 2019/20 according to the report, at 25.6 million tonnes. 8.5% (2.2 million tonnes) was disposed of via landfill, down 0.6 million tonnes from 2019/19.

Waste sent for incineration increased by 0.4 million tonnes (3.8%) to 11.6 million tonnes in 2019/20, making it the disposal method used for 45.5% of all local authority waste. 

The data is for the 2019/20 financial year and therefore does not show the extent of the  impact seen from the Covid-19 pandemic, which is expected to impact figures for the 2020 calendar year. The statistics also predate implementation of the Circular Economy legislation commencing in 2020. 

During 2019/20, there was an EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020. Defra said that the figures outlined in the report will make a ‘significant contribution’ to UK estimates, due to be published in the next edition of the UK Statistics on Waste.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Rebecca Pow MP will be delivering the keynote address on day one of the Energy from Waste Conference, 10 - 12 March 20201. Find out more and book your place.

Melissa Bradshaw

Reporter, Mark Allen Group

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