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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Department for Business increases 2016 WEEE collection targets

The WEEE collection target has been increased by 16,000 tonnes for 2016

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has increased its 2016 Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) collection targets following the release of collection data for 2015, which suggested that the initial target was not ambitious enough.

The initial WEEE collection target for 2016 set by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills was 528,687 tonnes. The data for WEEE evidence published by compliance schemes originally suggested that 512,000 tonnes of WEEE had been collected in 2015.

BIS increase WEEE collection target for 2016

WEEE 2016 target increased


The Department for Business set the initial target based on the annual average growth of WEEE collection since 2011. However, the figures from the Environmental Agency for complete tonnage of WEEE collected in 2015 show that some WEEE collections had not been accounted for in the original figure.

The new data shows that more than 521,000 tonnes of WEEE was collected by compliance schemes last year. Large household appliances and cooling appliances made up the largest percentage of WEEE collected in England and Wales in 2015, at more than 290,000 tonnes.

As a consequence of this, the Department for Business has increased 2016’s target to 544,341 tonnes. Compared to the initial 2016 target, the new figure for this year has increased by 16,000 tonnes, however, it is a long way off meeting the EU’s target of 730,000 tonnes.

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