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Havering residents recycle just 37pc of household waste, government report finds

PUBLISHED: 09:30 18 December 2017

Photo: Recycling Week

Photo: Recycling Week

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Households in Havering throw out more than half a tonne of rubbish which does not get recycled, new figures reveal.

Between March 2016 and 2017 on average each home chucked out 619kg of refuse that wasn’t recycled, reused or composted, more than the weight of a grand piano.

Only 37.3pc of the household waste thrown away was recycled, which is higher than the poorest performing council Newham – which reused a measly 14pc.

That is only slightly more than was being recycled five years ago, when the proportion was 36pc.

But 2017’s figure is significantly below the government’s household waste recycling target of 50pc by 2020, set by the EU.

The latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) show that in the last financial year Havering cleared away a whopping 110,531 tonnes of rubbish, with 93pc of that household waste.

Of the 38,271 tonnes from homes that were recycled or reused, 59pc was dry recycling and the rest was compost.

The 63pc that wasn’t recycled either went into landfill or was incinerated at special treatment plants, with the ash used as a fuel for energy and also in construction projects.

Defra doesn’t have a complete data set to show how much waste local authorities dispose of in the ground, however nationally this has almost halved in the last five years while the amount being used to provide energy from waste has doubled.

The average proportion of household waste recycled in England was 44pc, lower than in Wales where 55pc was reused.

That puts Wales only second after Germany in the world for recycling household waste, according to environmental analysts Eunomia.

England sits behind South Korea, Slovenia and Italy in 18th place.

Last week China revealed it may stop importing plastic from foreign countries including the UK, which may impact local authorities.

According to the environmental organisation Greenpeace, in the last year Britain shipped more than 2.7 million tonnes to China and Hong Kong.

Experts believe the restrictions could force councils to stop recycling certain types of plastic, as fees at sorting plants are likely to increase.

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