England’s recycling rate fell in 2015

Defra’s statistics show a 0.7 per cent drop in England’s recycling rate in 2015

Provisional data published by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) suggests that England’s recycling rate fell in 2015 for the first time in over 10 years.

The provisional data was released on March 22 and shows that recycling dropped by 0.7 per cent in 2015. This is the first year that recycling rates have fallen in England since 2000/01. In 2014, municipal waste recycling reached 45 per cent, but the rate for 2015 fell to 44.3 per cent.

Recycling rates dropped in 2015 by 0.7%

Recycling rates dropped in 2015 by 0.7%


The amount of waste produced by households in England increased by 0.6 per cent, but overall waste production in England fell by 0.6 per cent compared to 2014.

According to Defra the decrease in recycling can be attributed to a dramatic decrease in the recycling of ‘other organics recycling’ in 2014 compared to 2015; this recycling stream dropped by 5.7 per cent. Defra claims that this was because of dire weather conditions at the beginning of 2014 resulting in more garden recycling at the end of the year.

The overall 0.7 per cent decrease in recycling is the first dip recorded since 2000/01. In this year, England recycled only 11.4 per cent of the waste it generated; by 2010/11 this had risen to 41.5 per cent.

However, in the last four years, the country’s recycling rate has risen by tiny amounts, resulting in fears that England will not be able to meet EU’s 2020 recycling target, which has been set at 50 per cent.

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