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Wales has record year for recycling – but which four councils are rubbish at it?

27 Nov 2020 2 minute read
Picture by Dave Goodman (CC BY 2.0).

Wales has had a record year for recycling, but four county councils have still missed the target set by the Welsh Government.

According to recently published figures 18 of the 22 the Welsh Local Authorities beat the set target and because of this Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths has hailed Wales as a “recycling nation”.

The four worst councils in the country, which failed to hit their targets, were Powys, Caerphilly, Neath Port Talbot, and Cardiff.

Pembrokeshire, Vale of Glamorgan and Ceredigion were rated the best at recycling in the country, and they have already beaten the next target of 70 per cent, which the Welsh Government plans to put into law by 2025.

The country as a whole beat the latest target by achieving a recycling rate of 65.14 per cent, and this exceeded the target of 64 per cent the Welsh Government had set in law for the year 2019/20.

The target had been set at 58 per cent since 2015/16.



The Welsh Government said they had invested £1 billion in household recycling since the start of devolution. The recycling targets are part of what the Welsh Government calls its ‘Towards Zero Waste’ strategy.

The latest figures show 1.51 million tonnes of material was generated within Local Authorities in Wales in 2019-20, which is a decrease of almost 2 per cent. Nearly a million tonnes of that material was recycled, re-used or composted.

Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “For Wales as a whole to exceed the target in the first year is testament to the considerable effort everyone has put in.

“We could not have achieved a record year for recycling in Wales without the hard work of our local authorities and households across Wales and I’d like to particularly congratulate those authorities who have exceeded the next target five years early.

“Wales is already a recycling nation and we are rightly proud of our achievements.  These figures not only show that we are on track in meeting our goal of zero waste by 2050, but also show the progress being made towards a circular, low carbon economy.”

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