England on course to meet recycling target

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Margaret Beckett, has said that England is recycling more household waste than ever.

Speaking at a meeting of the Associated Parliamentary Waste Group, Mrs Beckett said that England was on course to meet its national and composting target of 17% in 2003/04.

Results published in Defra's Best Value Performance Indicators, which measured local authority and recycling and composting rates during 2003.04, showed an increase of 3 percentage points in the recycling and composting rate -the highest rate of increase recorded in England.

The residents of Lichfield District Council in Staffordshire were the best recyclers in England, recycling or composting nearly half (46%) of their waste.

The people of Fylde Borough Council demonstrated the biggest increase in recycling, with nearly a third (30%) of all household waste being recycled or composted – a 19% increase on 2002/03.

Mrs Beckett described the new figures as "positive news" and said: "England looks certain to meet its national recycling and composting target,the first time such a target has ever been met. While there is still a lot of work to do to raise levels of recycling even higher, this is a strong indication that the nation is adjusting to more sustainable waste practises."

However, Mrs Beckett said that poor performing councils would face action, saying that single figure recycling rates are "no longer acceptable". She said that Environment Minister, Elliot Morley, would be meeting with some of the poorest performing councils, in order to ensure they receive support, but stressed that "stronger action" would be taken, if they did not demonstrate a commitment to improvement.

Further information regarding current household waste management practices and confirmation of the national recycling and composting rate for 2003/04 will be available in the Municipal Waste Management Survey, which is due to be published later this year.

The national target of recycling and composting has been raised to 25 pre cent of total household waste for 2005/06. Further information is available at www.defra.gov.uk


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