More waste is being recycled than ever before but a further reduction in the amount going to landfill is still needed, according to the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA). The amount of the region's waste sent to landfill has fallen from 82% (2.4 million tonnes) in 2000/01 to 65% (2m tonnes) in 2005/06 while the amount recycled or composted has risen from 16% (0.5m tonnes) to 33% (1m tonnes) over the same period of time (See Notes to Editors for county breakdown).  However, with existing landfill capacity in the East of England running out, the region needs to make further efforts to recycle more than it throws away. 

To help achieve this, the Assembly is today (22 October) publishing the key measures undertaken by councils with the highest recycling rates in the region (See Notes to Editors).  One of the local authorities praised in the document is Huntingdonshire District Council, which has increased its recycling rate from 15% to 53% over the last three years.

Michael Allen, Chairman of EERA's Environment and Resources Panel, said: "It's no small achievement that the amount of waste being recycled or composted across the region has more than doubled in the past five years. 

"However, with current landfill sites in the region predicted to be full within three years, we need to consider further actions to help residents and businesses find alternative, more environmentally friendly, ways of disposing of their waste.  The actions the Assembly is recommending are highly practical with successful examples already in existence throughout the region."

Measures that have been successful in achieving high recycling rates include:

  • Collection of waste from the home including recyclables and organic material from the garden and kitchen
  • Information provided regularly to households on how to recycle
  • Nearby centres for other waste such as textiles and electrical items
  • Improve the design of new housing to promote easy storage and separation of waste
  • Separate collections for recyclables and general waste including alternate weekly collections where appropriate.

The information being sent to local authorities today, including details of local authority recycling and composting rates, is available at: http://www.eera.gov.uk/category.asp?cat=472