A new analysis has concluded that almost half of all the waste collected in Wales from residential areas is still made up of materials that can be widely recycled.
These results come after Wales has continued to top the charts with their success in increasing recycling targets across the country. Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Environment Secretary has encouraged Welsh residents to think more carefully about what they throw into the bins, commenting that the study highlights how even small changes in recycling behaviour can have great effects upon the environment.
Commenting on the results of the study, Griffiths went on to say that “It’s great to see people’s recycling habits are significantly improving However, this research shows that there’s still more we can do to meet our aim of being a zero waste nation by 2050.
Making up a good proportion of the recyclable material being put into waste bins was found to be food waste, a tenth of which, the study found to be still in its original packaging.
The remainder of recyclables put to waste was made up of primarily dry materials such as paper and cardboard that are well-known for being recyclable. The study found that 22% of paper and 28% of aluminium foil and cans are still ending up in landfill sites, despite a recycling service being offered to resident’s right at their kerbside.
The study also found that as well as food waste and dry recyclables going to landfill, a further 17% of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and another 50% of clothing and textiles – both of which are widely recycled and can be disposed of easily at community recycling sites, were also sent to landfill.
The study also concluded that if just half of these materials were recycled, Wales would successfully reach its government-set target to be recycling 70% of waste by 2025, some nine years early.
The analysis was put together by ‘WRAP Cymru’ on behalf of the Welsh Government, and was carried out across all 22 local authorities during Summer and Winter of 2015.
The research that has been gathered by the study will be used to establish a ‘robust evidence base’ that will act as a guide to how well Welsh recycling targets are working and being achieved over the next decade.
In recent years Wales have been at the forefront of UK recycling efforts, setting strong governmental targets and helping to greatly boost household recycling effort across the UK. In England, recycling rates have seemingly slowed down, but Wales however, has continued to raise its recycling efforts, rising to 59% in December, 2% higher than is was in the previous year.
The “Towards Zero Waste” strategy that the Welsh government has adopted has set several statuary targets in place, leading to the 70% target that has been set for 2025. In this agreement, local authorities that fail to meet recycling targets will find themselves being fined. The Welsh government’s ultimate goal is to have zero per cent of Welsh waste being sent to landfill by 2050, a target that could be seen as very bold and tough to meet.
Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Environment Secretary went on to mention that “as well as the obvious environmental benefits, being a high-recycling society provides the basis for a strong circular economy. Re-circulating high value materials has an enormous potential to boost the Welsh economy, create jobs re-processing these materials here in Wales and lower our carbon footprint.
Our research into recycling habits is important in informing our work to meet our recycling targets. While there is much to celebrate it shows just small changes in peoples recycling can have enormous environmental benefits. We will now look to do more to develop the circular economy and increase recycling participation”
It is great to hear that Wales are setting themselves stern targets for recycling, and they are well on track to meet them.
To read more on this, see the full article at: http://resource.co/article/despite-leading-way-welsh-bins-still-half-full-recyclables-11171
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