Wakefield Council blames weather for drop in recycling rate

Fickle Yorkshire weather has been blamed for a drop in recycling rates in the Wakefield district.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 4:48 pm
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 4:49 pm
The proportion of all household waste being recycled fell last year.

A council report revealed that just under 46 per cent of all household waste was recycled between April 2018 and March 2019, compared to more than 52 per cent the year before.

The local authority said the decline was because of weather conditions, which meant fewer local people spent time gardening last year.

As a result, less garden waste - all of which is recycled - needed to be collected, hitting the overall recycling rate for all refuse.

Just under 46 per cent of all household waste from Wakefield was recycled last year.

The report said: "The inclusion of garden waste in recycling rates mean that they can fluctuate according to the weather conditions.

"The reduced performance last year was attributed to a cold spring followed by drought conditions in May/June, which resulted in less garden waste being collected."

Wakefield's recycling rate had been steadily rising year-on-year since 2014 before last year's drop.

There is no indication yet as to whether or not the rate for the current year will increase again.

The report added: "Recycling helps prevent waste from ending up in landfill and being subject to landfill tax.

"Nationally, we are recycling more waste now than we ever have, but since 2013, household waste recycling in England has plateaued at around 45 per cent."

The issue will be discussed by the council's climate change scrutiny committee next Monday.

In numbers

The proportion of household waste in the Wakefield district which ends up being recycled

2014/15 - 38.8 per cent

2015/16 - 40.5 per cent

2016/17 - 48.6 per cent

2017/18 - 52.1 per cent

2018/19 - 45.8 per cent

Local Democracy Reporting Service