England's large volume of household waste still provides a formidable
challenge to local authorities, government and individual
Speaking to the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management annual
conference Mr Morley said today:
'There has been a welcome improvement on all waste indicators, but
the priority is minimisation, re-use and recycling, and landfill is
bottom of the hierarchy.
'It's happening across the country, but at a slower pace than we
would have liked and there is an unacceptable gap between the best
and worst performing local authorities.
'There is a long, long way to go to be in the situation where we can
sit back and congratulate ourselves. However we are starting to see a
reduction in the rate at which waste growth is increasing.
'Latest recycling estimates for England reveal achieving our
2003/2004 recycling target is now within reach and we will find out
later this year. Local authorities across the country are working
hard to manage waste more sustainably. We must not underestimate the
huge challenges they face in meeting tough recycling targets for
2005-06 and to fulfil our obligations under the EU Landfill
'The challenge is for all - not just certain local authorities -
across the country to develop approaches that meet the standards of
the best. Individual householders too play a big part by co-operating
and taking part in the new recycling culture across the country. No
longer are we prepared to just dump everything in landfill.
Latest figures published towards the end of April show:
* In 2002/03, over 300,000 tonnes less went into landfill than the
previous year, the first fall in 4 years and it was the biggest fall
* The proportion of household waste recycled (including composting)
has continued to increase, rising from 12.5 per cent in 2001/02 to
14.5 per cent in 2002/03. This increase of 2 percentage points in the
recycling rate is more than the 1 percentage point that has been the
norm in previous years.
* In absolute terms the amount of household waste collected for
recycling has increased by 17 per cent, from 3.2 million tonnes in
2001/02 to 3.7 million tonnes in 2002/03. Over the last six years the
amount of household waste recycled has more than doubled.
* The amount of household waste collected for recycling at civic
amenity and bring sites has increased by 12 percent from 2.2 million
tonnes in 2001/02 to 2.5 million tonnes in 2002/03.
* The amount of recycled household material collected through
'kerbside' schemes rose by 29 per cent from 1.0 million tonnes in
2001/02 to 1.3 million tonnes in 2002/03.
* The greater increase in kerbside recycling means it accounted for
34 per cent of the total household recycling in 2002/03 compared to
31 per cent in 2001/02. The proportion from civic amenity and bring
sites was 66 per cent down from 69 per cent in 2001/02.
* It is estimated that the proportion ofhouseholds served by a
kerbside recycling scheme increased from 58 per cent in 2001/02 to 66
per cent in 2002/03.
Mr Morley added:
'A more successful, sustainable and environmentally sensitive
approach to waste management is taking shape after a year of solid
progress since the government's detailed response to the Strategy
Unit report Waste Not, Want Not. Over the past year we have
established some important new building blocks to help deliver the
'I have been delighted by the enthusiasm with which the government's
funding and initiatives have been received - in particular, uptake
for the pilot new technology schemes has exceeded expectations, the
efforts of local authorities to improve their recycling
infrastructure, and the interest in increasing collaboration between
authorities and with the private sector.'
Government action in key areas is captured in a new 12-month report
on Defra's Waste Implementation Programme - aimed at improving waste
minimisation, recycling and composting.
Major progress by Defra includes:
* more than£100m in Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund grants
* successful launch of pilot scheme for new sustainable waste
management technologies for dealing with those wastes which are not
readily reduced, reused or recycled;
* high-level steering committee set up, involving key waste
stakeholders - providing multi-disciplinary expertise and expert
challenge to help delivery of Defra's work;
* web-based advice and best practice guidance for local authorities
has been launched;
* network of pilot home composting schemes up and running;
* good progress on data and research strategies to plug knowledge
gaps across all waste streams;
* delivery of a targeted home composting programme with selected
local authority partners;
* funding for information and education campaigns, helping to boost
take up of local recycling facilities;
* publication of a Review of Environmental and Health Effects of
* Waste and Emissions Trading Act introduced, allowing Landfill
Directive targets to be met at less cost.
Report published today by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)