Recycling rates rise

18 Mar 2024


Residents across High Peak bucked the national trend by sending an increased amount of household waste for recycling last year.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures show 33,732 tonnes of waste were collected by High Peak Borough Council in the year to March 2023.

Of this, about 16,256 tonnes were sent for re-use, recycling or composting, meaning the area had a recycling rate of 48.2%.

It was up from the previous year when 47.7% of household waste was sent for recycling.

However, environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy said a simpler recycling system is needed as, overall, England has fallen “further and further behind” its European neighbours.

Nationally, the recycling rate fell - from 42.5% in 2021-22 to 41.7% last year - with most regions recording decreases in their recycling rates.

Alison Ogden-Newton OBE, chief executive of Keep  Britain Tidy, said: “It is disappointing to see recycling rates falling at a time when we should be doing more than ever to stop valuable materials being buried or burned.

“We are falling further and further behind. In Germany, 71% of municipal waste is recycled and Slovenia has seen recycling rates increase from 22% in 2010 to 60% in 2021.”

She said producers needed to make it easier for people by using packaging that can be recycled in kerbside bin collections, alongside a simpler recycling system.

Despite the overall reduction in waste collected from households, she said the amount of rubbish generated per person must be “dramatically cut”.

“We will do this by reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ we buy and repairing or reusing what we already own,” she added.

Overall, total local authority-managed waste in England decreased by 6% to 24.5 million tonnes in the past year.

The figures also show the estimated household waste fell from 417.2kg per person in 2021-22 to 390.2kg last year.

In High Peak, about 369.9kg of household waste was recorded per person last year, down from 387.5kg in 2021-2022.

Darren Rodwell, environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said: “Every place is different and councils understand that what works for reducing waste in an urban tower block is different for a rural cottage.”

He said recycling rates can be boosted with businesses and manufacturers improving waste reduction and package reuse.

Local authorities also need clarity on the timetable for Government plans to reform waste and recycling, he added.

Environment minister Robbie Moore said: “Reducing waste and increasing recycling is crucial for protecting our environment for future generations.

“Overall, the amount of waste from households has gone down, but recycling rates have also fallen slightly this year.”

‘There is so much more to do’

He added: “We know there is more to do and that is why we are pushing forward with plans for a new, simpler common-sense approach to recycling, making recycling easier for everyone across the country.”


Sonja Tutty, Buxton Advertiser, 22 February 2024