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Rule change boosts England recycling rate

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The latest household waste recycling rate for England has increased, but this is almost entirely due to a decision to include the percentage of metal recovered and recycled within incinerator bottom ash, LGC’s sister title Materials Recycling World reports.

The 2016 recycling rate was 44.9%, up 0.6 percentage points from a 2015 rate of 44.3%, to which IBA has now been added. With IBA excluded, the 2016 figure was 44.2%, 0.4 percentage points higher than 2015.

In an explanatory note on the date, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, says the metal element of the IBA accounted for 0.7 percentage points in 2016.

The total volume of household waste increased by 2.5% from 2015 to 22.8 million tonnes in 2016.

The recycled total rose 3.8% to 9.8 million tonnes in the same period. Residual waste rose 1.3% to 12.5 million tonnes.

The rate for the local authority collected waste for the 2016-17 financial year, which does not include IBA, was 42.8%, up 0.4 percentage points on the year before.

Around 15.7% of all local authority waste went to landfill in 2016-17.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council had the highest ‘household waste’ recycling rate at 65%, with nearly half of its recycling comprising green/organic waste. South Oxfordshire DC and Rochford DC both achieved 64% ‘household waste’ recycling rates.

Total waste from households includes dry recycling/preparing for reuse and organics. It also includes residual waste (or ‘black bag’ waste) and rejects from recycling. IBA metal is included in the recycling figures from April 2015.

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