Unprecedented rise in kerbside collections

The amount of waste collected from kerbside recycling schemes leapt by over 50% in 2003/04, according to Environment Department (DEFRA) figures.

Around half of all English local authorities "introduced a new scheme" during the year, DEFRA's annual survey of municipal waste management says.1 This led to 1.9 million tonnes of waste being collected from such schemes, a 52% rise on 2002/03. Nearly 80% of households were served by such schemes in 2002/03, compared to 67% in the previous year.

Such growth was in part responsible for England's household waste recycling rate hitting 17.7% - exceeding the Government's 17% target in the process (ENDS Report 360, pp 15-16 ).

Green and food waste were the most commonly collected materials for recycling, responsible for 30% of the 4.5 million tonnes collected. Paper and card made up 28%, while glass and comingled waste lagged behind at 13% and 10% respectively.

The rest of DEFRA's report simply confirms summary figures published in March showing, for example, that the total amount of municipal waste dropped for the first time (ENDS Report 362, p 17 ).

English local authorities handled 29.105 million tonnes of waste during the year - a 289,000 tonne, or 1%, reduction on 2002/03 figures.