The Welsh Government’s £1billion investment since devolution in municipal recycling has helped see rates catapult from just 4.8 per cent in 1998-1999, to 65.7 per cent today – higher than the statutory target of 64 per cent.

The recycling rate is the percentage of local authority collected municipal waste that is reused, recycled or composted.

In 2024-25, the statutory minimum target will raise to 70%, a figure which has already been met by five Welsh local authorities: Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Bridgend, Ceredigion and Monmouthshire

In total, 17 of Wales’ 22 local authorities exceeded the 64 per cent target, with 12 local authorities reporting an increase in performance on the previous year.

The figures published today also show the lowest ever amount of waste sent to landfill.

There has been a significant decrease in the proportion of waste disposed of via landfill (falling from 42.0% in 2012-13 to 1.6% in 2022-23). This already exceeds the Welsh Government’s target of less than 5% landfill by 2024-25.

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said:

The landfill and recycling stats once again show us what can be achieved when we all work together to tackle climate change and put in the hard work to ensure we’re building a green and prosperous Wales for future generations.

Wales can be proud that its efforts are making a significant difference to emissions, saving around 400,000 tonnes of CO2 per year from being released into the atmosphere.

Our recycling track record and now near total shift away from landfill is a fantastic platform for us to build on to tackle the climate and nature emergencies – but now is not the time to get complacent.

I ask everybody in Wales to continue the great progress we’ve made on this journey for the common good – and really think about recycling as a valuable material for the economy.

Just last week, the Senedd passed a new law that should further improve Wales’ impressive recycling record.

The Workplace Recycling Regulations will require all business, public and third sector workplaces to separate key recyclable materials in the way that householders already do across most of Wales.

The law will come into force in April 2024 and will further increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent for incineration and to landfill.

Crucially it will also improve the quality and quantity of recyclable materials collected from workplaces, which will in turn capture important materials to be fed back into the Welsh economy.


Welsh Government Press Release