UK Expected To Miss EU Recycling Targets

The UK is expected to miss EU targets to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020 after the latest figures showed England’s recycling rates had barely improved.

Currently, around 76 million tonnes of the 177 million tonnes of household waste produced in England is recycled each year, leaving the country well short of the 50% recycling rate required by 2020 under European law, and even further from the 70% target the European Commission has suggested for 2030.

Statistics from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on waste managed by local authorities in England in 2013-2014 showed that recycling rates for waste from households were 44.2%, up only slightly on the 44.1% achieved for 2012.

The ‘Waste from households’ calculation was first published by Defra in May 2014 and is a narrower version of the ‘household waste’ measure used previously. It excludes local authority collected waste types not considered to have come directly from households, such as litter bins, street sweepings, parks and ground waste.

Figures from local authorities for ‘household waste’ showed a significant increase from 11% in 2000/01 to 43% in 2011/12, but only a marginal one to 43.5% in 2013/14.

With no statutory recycling targets to meet and tightening budgets, local authorities in England have no real incentive to move forward and industry experts are now urging the government to show clearer leadership on waste policy, blaming the nation’s poor performance on Defra’s decision to ‘step back’ from waste management initiatives.

This rate of increase continues to show modest performance gains in the nation’s recycling over the last four years and confirms fears that the UK is unlikely to meet its EU obligations for 2020 on the current trajectory.


Here at Equinox Recycling, we are able to provide a range of waste collection services for residential customers including:

* Glass Collections

* General Waste Collections

* Mixed Recycling Collections

Please visit our home services page for more information or call 0845 520 21 21 to speak with a member of our friendly and experienced sales team.

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