A fall in the amount of green waste collected in England between July and September 2013 has sparked a decline in the overall recycling rate compared with the same quarter in the previous year, provisional figures suggest.
Published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the statistics for the second quarter of 2013/14 show the amount of waste recycled or composted by local authorities fell to 47.1% – beneath the 47.6% “seasonal high” achieved for the same period in 2012.
Of more than 5.8million tonnes of household waste collected between July and September 2013, some 1.5million tonnes was sent for dry recycling and 1.3million tonnes for organic recycling comprising food and garden waste.
While this represents 47% of the total amount of waste recycled, it also means there has been an 11% decline in the volume of organic waste produced between July and September 2012 – which Defra has blamed on less green waste sent for composting.
However, the amount of food waste sent for composting and anaerobic digestion has gradually increased in the July to September quarters and was up by 15% to 68,000 tonnes in July to September 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.
Meanwhile, the annual recycling rate for England remained at a standstill at 43.9% in the 12 months to September 2013 – the same rate as achieved in the overall 2012/13 financial year. This was down from 44.1% recorded for the same period ending in September 2012.
But, the annual amount of council-managed household waste sent to landfill and incineration declined to 46.2% in the year to September 2013, and recorded a 5% drop in July to September compared with the previous year.
And, total waste arisings were also seen to be declining slowly, having fallen by 3% since 2010 to 21.5million tonnes in the year to September 2013, down from 22million tonnes in the year to September 2012.
A Defra spokesperson said: “We are producing less waste than ever before and the overall amount sent to landfill and incineration is reducing year on year.
“We want to see people recycling more and we are investing £3.5billion in different waste infrastructure projects to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, promote recycling and stimulate economic growth.”
The next statistics release will be in August 2014 and cover October to December 2013.