Recycling rate falls, Defra figures show

Official statistics from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has shown that the rate of household recycling has fallen to 44.3 per cent from 44.9 per cent in 2015.

The data also highlighted that the amount of rubbish successfully recycled fell from 44.8 per cent last year to 43.9 per cent in the year ending in March 2016.

In light of the figures, the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) has called for a fundamental review of the funding for council waste services and for concepts such as Extended Producer Responsibility and Direct Charging to be explored and implemented.

Andrew Bird, chair of LARAC, said: “We are obviously disappointed that the rates have gone down for the first time. But when waste services are competing for a reduced budget with adult care, education and social services it is clear something is going to give. We need to establish new funding streams into local authorities to ensure the recycling rate increases again.”

The statistics revealed that South Oxfordshire District Council has maintained its lead as England’s best recycling council for the third year in a row. The council had a recycling, reuse and composting rate of 66.6 per cent for 2015-16.

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