Over the past decade the UK has recycled an astonishing 50 billion plastic drinks bottles – enough to stretch to the moon and back more than ten times over!
And this week the Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership is throwing its weight behind the 10th anniversary plans for Recycle Week – the national annual event designed to encourage people to recycle even more than ever before.
Recycle Week 2013, which takes place from June 17-23, has as its focus recycling ‘at home and away’. Originally launched as ‘The BIG Recycle’, the annual event has played an important role in helping to spread messages about recycling to consumers across the UK during a decade which has seen huge improvements in how much, and what, we recycle.
“As a nation, we’ve come a long way since we first began to take recycling seriously,” said WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin.
“Not only is this good news for the environment as it means we’re sending less to landfill and making better use of natural resources, it is also hugely important for our economy. The UK recycling sector now generates more than £13 billion a year in sales, employs more than 40,000 people and contributes around £3 billion-worth of additional value each year to the UK economy.”
In the ten years that Recycle Week has been running, local authority recycling schemes across the UK have collected materials worth a staggering £2.4 billion.
- Paper and card worth around £1 billion
- Plastic worth around £339 million
- Mixed cans worth around £174 million
- Mixed glass worth around £153 million
- Textiles worth around £124 million
In Merseyside there has been a 28% increase in recycling since 2003. Due to changes in methodology and measurements over the years some exact comparisons aren’t possible, but the following table suggests changes in waste behaviour locally:
|Percentage of household waste recycled and composted||8.5%||36.9%|
|Percentage of household waste sent to landfill||91.3%||62.5%**|
The region has key targets for the future which are set out in RESOURCES Merseyside, the Joint Recycling and Waste Management Strategy, include:
– Recycling 50% of Merseyside’s household waste by 2020
– Reducing the total amount of waste produced per household on Merseyside from 1.30 tonnes to 1.18 tonnes per household per year by 2030
– Reducing the amount of local authority collected municipal waste landfilled
– Reducing the carbon emissions from municipal waste management services
Carl Beer, Chief Executive of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority, said: “The progress made on Merseyside and Halton is due to a huge amount of effort on behalf of residents, local District Councils, businesses, community groups and charities. We are proud to have played our part in this collective effort.
“However, one of the reasons that Recycle Week is still around is that there’s more we can all do to recycle more things, more often – to capture these valuable resources. And for us recycling isn’t just about using material for something else, it also includes waste prevention. Ideally we should be doing everything we can to prevent waste in the first place, before having to recycle it.”
As well as kerbside recycling collections there are also 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres throughout Merseyside and two in Halton. Local residents can find out what they can recycle in their area by using the postcode locator on recycleformerseyside.com.
Notes to Editors
*based on the most recent verified 2012 figures.
**exact figure to be verified
For more recycling facts and figures go to
Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (formerly Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority) is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986 following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and safe and effective disposal of waste for Merseyside’s residents. www.merseysidewda.gov.uk.
The Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership is made up of MRWA, plus the District Councils of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. See recycleformerseyside.com for more information.
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