Britain’s recycling: performance by region

In the UK, it is local authorities who operate a range of different systems that are in place to collect recyclable materials from households. However, depending on where you live in the UK, the recycling habits of your neighbours will change drastically, and the amount that we recycle appears to be inconsistent when evaluating the UK as a whole.
Thommy Weiss,

In the lowest performing areas – per household – recycling accounts for less than a fifth of all the waste materials that they produce. However, in the areas where recycling is at its highest, 67% of all waste materials that these households produce is recycled in some way. The question to ask is, how are local authorities performing across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales? Together with O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions, specialists in mixed recycling, we take a closer look at the recycling habits of the UK.

Home counties
In the home counties surrounding but not including London, Rochford was the highest recycling local authority (68%), just east of the capital. After this was Surrey Heath, with a recycling percentage of 62.1%. Within this region, Lewes was the lowest performing local authority, with only 21.5% of all household waste being recycled – a difference of 46.5% between the lowest and highest recyclers within the home counties. Local authorities such as West Berkshire (51.8%), Waverley (54.8%) and Aylesbury Vale (52%) all performed modestly, whilst other authorities such as Chichester (39.9%), Sevenoaks (31.9%) and Thurrock (37.9%) performed less well and recycled less against those in the region.

Within the capital, local authorities in this area have the lowest performing recycling rates of any local authorities in the country. This is more than likely down to the fact that London has the highest concentration of waste per person, with 7,074,265 living in the capital. Within the capital, Bexley was the highest recycling local authority – finding another use for 52% of all of the waste generated. Areas to the east, such as Hillingdon
However, the local authorities of Westminster and Newham are the lowest recyclers in the UK. In 2016, Westminster Council recycled 17.3% of all of its waste, whereas Newham recycled 14.7%. Whether it’s the density of people within these area, or the amount of waste that is produced, greater education regarding recycling may be a worthwhile investment in the long-term so that more can be recycled within these inner-city areas.

North East
East Riding of Yorkshire has a greatest recycling rate in the North East of England with an astonishing 66.1%. Four different local authorities within this region fall below the 30% mark: Sunderland with 29.4%,

In this part of the country we can see clearly that overall there is a high recycling rate with the highest authority being Stratford-on-Avon with 60.4%. There are a few local authorities that have a very low reuse, recycling and composting rate which are Bassetlaw (20.1%), Birmingham (22.9%) and South Holland (27.9%) within the year of 2015-2016.

The figures were taken from Sita UK.


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