FOR the first time since records began England is reusing more waste than it sends to landfill.
New figures from Defra reveal that not only has household waste recycling reached 43% but more was recycled, composted or reused than landfilled.
The final annual results for 2011/12 also show that although the rate of increase has been levelling off, household waste generation has also been falling since 2007/8.
The improvement was welcomed by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management. “We have now reached an important tipping point in England, with more waste recycled or composted than landfilled,” said deputy chief executive Chris Murphy. “Although this may be due in part to an increase in incineration, it is still encouraging news and demonstrates that we are continuing to make positive progress in moving waste up the hierarchy.”
While the institution complained that some of the data is hard to interpret because of the use of different definitions and terminology, it welcomed the “useful” statistics on the carbon impacts of material recycling which it said complement traditional tonnage-based data but don’t replace it.