These figures, released from Statistics for Wales, on 24th August show that the story of steadily increasing rates from 2011 continues, and for the first time, Wales has exceeded it's target for the time period. The aim was 58% and the provisional result is 60%.
The figures show Wales well on its way to achieving its statutory targets of recycling 70% of waste by 2024-25. The actual final quarter showed increased rates on last year's equivalent quarter of 6% .
19 of Wales' 22 authorities have reached (provisionally) or exceeded the targets set for 15-16, with Ceredigion heading the pack with a rate of 68%; it is generally the rural authorities who have the highest combined rates (with composting remaining constant) - at 62% with Valley and urban authorities showing group rates of 59% over the year.
Almost all (20 of the 22) of the local authorities increased their reuse/recycling/composting rate, compared with January to March 2015. The largest increases were reported for Merthyr Tydfil (25 percentage points) followed by Wrexham and Bridgend (14 percentage points), and Caerphilly (13 percentage points). For Merthyr Tydfil, this increase was caused by the authority generating additional amounts of rubble due to the council clearing an abandoned waste site. A similar situation is the cause of the increased rate in Bridgend. For Wrexham, there has been an increase in the quantities of residual waste being sent for incineration and an increase in the resulting incinerator bottom ash being recovered. 6 Cardiff reported the largest decrease (11 percentage points) in the amount of waste prepared for reuse, recycling or composting for January to March 2016. This decrease for Cardiff is due to a large increase in January to March 2015 caused by stockpiled street sweepings being sent for recycling. The reuse/recycling/composting rate for Cardiff is, however, 10 percentage points higher than in the same quarter of 2014. The reuse/recycling/composting rates in valley authorities as a whole have increased by 8 percentage points; this was primarily driven by the increases in Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend and Caerphilly (increases of 25, 14 and 13 percentage points respectively).
This is while the total amount of local authority muncipal waste generated in Wales increased by 12% compared with the equivalent quarter last year - the residual household waste generated by each indivitual increased by 10% to 51 kilograms per person. Less than half of local authorities (8 of the 22) reported a decrease in residual household waste generated per person, compared with January to March 2015. The largest decrease was in Merthyr Tydfil (down 46 per cent), followed by Ceredigion (down by 31 per cent). These decreases in residual household waste reflect the increases seen in the first two sections of this release in recycling rate and amount of waste generated for Merthyr Tydfil and Ceredigion. Rhondda Cynon Taf reported the largest increase (88 per cent) in household waste generated per person; this is due to the unusually large decrease seen for the authority in January to March 2015. Large increases in the valley authorities of Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly resulted in the valley authorities as a whole reporting a 20 per cent increase compared to the same quarter last year.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said, "I am proud that we lead the rest of the UK in our recycling rate but I want us to do even better and become Europe’s best recycling nation."
The LARAC Wales Conference this year focused on how to get the extra per cents to reach 70% - we will continue to support Wales Authorities in their efforts to make this tremendous ambition a reality. The conference presentations are in the members' area of www.larac.org.uk - use your membership number and password to login and gain access to the case studies and input from the government and industry.