“Disappointing” fall in Welsh recycling rates

(Title Image: Charted Institute of Waste Management Journal)

The percentage of municipal waste recycled in Wales fell for the first time in 2017-18 according to the latest figures (pdf).

The proportion of waste recycled reduced from 63.8% to 62.7% and 17 of the 22 Welsh councils reported a fall in recycling rates.

While the figures are still generally excellent at a UK, European and global level, the fall was described as “disappointing” and was believed to be due to improved reporting.

“Whilst it is disappointing to see a small net decrease, our recycling rate of nearly 63% is still well above our national target of 58% for this year. There is also good news, with a second Welsh local authority breaking the 70% barrier for the first time.


“There are a number of reasons why we have seen a slight net fall, including a change in the way data is reported for non-household items such as wood and ash from incinerators.


“….Wales remains first in the UK, second in Europe and third in the world for household waste recycling. My focus remains on making Wales the top recycling nation in the world.”
– Environment Minister, Hannah Blythyn (Lab, Delyn)

The Welsh Government has set a target for every council to recycle 70% of municipal waste by 2024-25.