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Recycling up, but concern over UK waste arisings

United Kingdom – Despite a 6% increase in the volume of material recycled in the UK, the nation’€™s Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) has voiced concern over the upturn in overall waste arisings revealed by latest official figures.

LARAC observes that the sector is making the best of the ‘battle with budget cuts and uncertain market conditions’. And yet it is worried about the rise in residual waste and believes this could be the result of people increasing their expenditure on the back of a potential economic recovery. In addition, the growth in the recycling rate is slowing down such that, without government and wider industry support, local authorities face a fight to achieve the target of a further five-percentage-point increase by 2020.

‘Local authorities continue to work hard to increase recycling levels and these figures show that work is still progressing,’ comments LARAC’s vice chair Sally Talbot. ‘However, the rise in overall waste is worrying and could undermine the recycling efforts if it continues. This shows that national leadership is needed in waste policy and that resources need to be put into communications, both at a national level through WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and Recycle Now and at a local level.’

LARAC chair Andrew Bird recently warned that waste services could suffer yet more cuts as other services like education and social care are given preference in the face of diminishing finances. The organisation has reiterated its call for other involved parties – such as those with producer responsibilities – to help local authorities in communicating the recycling and waste minimisation message to the public.

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