90% of English councils `exceeding` recycling targets

Ninety per cent of local authorities are meeting or even exceeding their household recycling targets, new figures published by Environment Minister Jane Kennedy today show.

The waste statistics for all English local authorities in 2007/08 show how individual local authorities are contributing to the national drive to reduce the amount of waste produced and then to recycle as much of that as possible. The results show:

* 90 per cent of local authorities met or exceeded their recycling targets;

* 90 per cent of local authorities had less residual rubbish (or 'black bag' waste) to collect than in 2006/07;

* 94 per cent of authorities recycled and composted more of their household waste than in 2006/07; and

* 72 per cent of authorities sent a lower percentage of their municipal waste to landfill than in 2006/07.

This shows a continued improvement on last year based on the audited Best Value Performance Indicators for 2007/08.

Environment Minister Jane Kennedy said:

'Recycling is now part of everyday life in this country and the way we think about waste has changed.

'Putting local councils in the driving seat is delivering results. The Government remains committed to supporting local authorities in continuing this revolution in recycling.

'Seeing ninety per cent of local authorities meet or exceed their recycling targets is an important achievement.

'These figures show many local authorities taking a real lead and I congratulate them. We need to keep this momentum going as we can all always do more.'

Other key statistics are:

* The highest household recycling/composting rate was 58.4 per cent in East Lindsey District Council;

* East Lindsey were also the most improved authority, increasing their recycling rate by over 20 per cent;

* Nineteen authorities had a recycling/composting rate greater than 50 per cent in 2007/8;

* Nineteen authorities increased their recycling rate by more than 10 per cent;

* The largest decrease in household waste to collect per head was North Cornwall District Council - a reduction of 13.6 per cent; and

* Seven authorities had reductions in the amount of household waste to collect of over 10 per cent.

National Statistics for municipal waste management for 2007/8 in England and the regions were also published today. These results show:

* An increase in the national household recycling and composting rate to 34.5 per cent in 2007/8, from 30.9 per cent in 2006/7. This shows good progress towards the Waste Strategy target to reuse, recycle or compost 40 per cent of household waste by 2010.

* A decrease in the amount of residual household waste from 17.9 million tonnes to 16.6 million tonnes (by 7 per cent), again putting us on track for the Waste Strategy target to reduce this to 15.8 million tonnes by 2010;

* A decrease in the amount of municipal waste to landfill from 16.9 to 15.5 million tonnes (or 54 per cent of total municipal waste); and

* A decrease in the total amount of municipal waste collected from 29.1 to 28.5 million tonnes (by 2.2 per cent). There was also a decrease in total collected household waste from 25.8 to 25.3 million tonnes, or 1.9 per cent.

Further information on the ONS statistics can be found at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/wastats/bulletin08.htm

Defra will continue to work with the Local Government Association, local authorities and WRAP to support local waste services, fund research and collate best practice to help lower performing local authorities improve performance.

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