DEFRA issues municipal waste data for 2002/03

A full statistical bulletin concerning the latest English municipal waste management survey was published by the Environment Department (DEFRA) in August.1 The bulletin also includes revised figures for earlier years.

Much of the information had been published earlier in the year. As reported in May, municipal waste arisings rose by just 1.8% during the year - providing further evidence that claims that municipal waste is growing at a rate of 3% or more per annum are over the top (ENDS Report 352, p 15 ).

In its new press release, DEFRA boasts that household recycling rates were "the highest ever", with the household waste recycling rate edging up from 12.5% to 14.5%. This level would "help the country meet its 2003/04 national target of recycling and composting 17% of household waste," said DEFRA.

At the end of last year, the Government said provisional data on councils' performance against the Best Value indicators suggested that the 17% target was "within reach" (ENDS Report 348, pp 15-16 ).

But following the bulletin's publication, Friends of the Earth said the Government looks set to miss its target to recycle at least 25% of household waste by 2005/06. Some 89 councils failed to improve their household waste recycling rates and one in ten was still not recycling more than 5%.

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