UK moves into EU top ten for recycling and composting

The BCC has welcomed the news that the UK has moved into the European top 10 for recycling

The latest (2012) Eurostat figures published yesterday show that the UK is moving up the ranks in the European league, with an above average recycling and composting performance of 46% and lower waste generation per capita (472kg) than many other countries in the EU28.

CIWM chief executive Steve Lee said: “It is encouraging to see that we are now among the top ten performers on recycling and composting, with Wales making a particularly strong contribution. This is no time to take our foot off the pedal, however, our commitment to maintaining and improving performance will have to be stronger than ever in the face of budget cuts and evidence that recycling is flatlining in some areas.

“We are also creating a lot less waste per person than many of our western European neighbours, outperforming countries such as Germany (611kg) and Denmark (668kg). That said, issues around data comparability mean that these figures should be taken with caution. We should also be mindful that the current economic climate is impacting on waste generation, which could rise again in the future as the economy improves.

“We are not doing so well on energy recovery from waste compared to many of the EU15 countries. With around 37% of our waste still going to landfill, further efforts need to be made to realise the energy value in our residual waste stream whilst we redouble our efforts to recycle and push forward with re-use and prevention.

“The data also strongly suggests that many EU countries will struggle to reach the 2020 targets for 50% recycling and composting target and the Landfill Directive BMSW diversion target. This supports CIWM’s belief that serious thought needs to be given to either a two-tier system or individual country targets.”


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