Concerning statistics have been released which reveal that recycling rates in England have fallen for the first time ever.

The amount of rubbish sent to recycling plants by households had been increasing for more than a decade. However, the past three years have seen these figures flatline, and now they are unfortunately dropping.

Government figures show that the recycling rate in England dropped from 44.8% in 2014 to 43.9% in 2015.

EU Targets

These figures mean the UK is likely to miss an EU target of recycling at least 50% of its household waste by 2020. England’s size means it accounts for much of the rubbish the country produces.

In more positive news, Wales is far ahead of England with households recycling 61% of waste, while Scotland is on 44.2%.

Huge budget cuts to local authorities, who are primarily in charge of recycling have meant that the resources available to promote recycling have all but faded away.

The Perfect Storm

“2015 was a perfect storm for recycling, combining cuts to local authority budgets with declining commodity markets for recycled materials.

“Without policy intervention, England, in particular, would see a drop in the recycling rate,” said Jakob Rindegren, recycling policy advisor for the Environmental Services Association.

Bottom of the Pile

The worst offenders were the Newham borough in London which had a recycling rate of just 15%. On the other hand, South Oxfordshire district council had the highest, at 67%.

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