English households recycling more waste than ever

Recycling of household waste such as newspapers, compost, glass, plastic and tin cans is at its highest ever level, the government has said today.

Annual figures for England published today by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that the government's target of recycling 17% of household waste by this year will be met.

A more ambitious national target of recycling and composting 25% of total household waste has been set for 2005/6. Defra will provide £265 million to help local authorities reach the new target.

The results from the Municipal Waste Management Survey for England for 2002/3 showed that England recycled up to 14.5% of household waste in 2002/3, up 12.5% from the previous year.

The survey also found there was a reduction in the amount of household waste sent to landfill for the first time in recent years.

Environment Minister Elliot Morley said that kerbside recycling schemes had made it easier for people to "do their bit".

"Now let's do more. It can be as easy to put aside waste for recycling as it is to throw it away. Every old newspaper or empty tin can make a difference," he said.

Mr Morley warned that despite today's figures, some councils are not doing enough. Some had not met the national 10% minimum target.

"Defra can help local authorities improve and wants to work together with less-strong performers to achieve better results," he said.

"But those who do not show a commitment to improve their recycling levels risk intervention by the government to make it happen."


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