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Recycling: Urban Areas

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL1772, tabled on 6 July 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the recycling rates of (1) London, and (2) the core cities of England; and what steps they are taking to improve the rates of the poorest performing cities.

Answered on

20 July 2021

The most recent annual publication of waste statistics shows the ‘household waste’ recycling rate for the 2019/20 financial year:

  • London Region - 33.5%
  • Birmingham City Council - 23.6%
  • Manchester City Council MBC - 40.4%
  • Leeds City Council MBC - 38.2%
  • Bristol City Council – 47.1%
  • Liverpool City Council – 23.6%
  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council MBC – 40.2%
  • Nottingham City Council – 26.2%
  • Sheffield City Council – 31.7%

Recycling rates for 2020/21 for local authorities in England are not yet available. Recycling rates for 2019/20 were published on 3 March 2021. An ad hoc set of provisional results covering April 2020 to June 2020 was published on 12 May 2021.

The Government is committed to increasing both the quality and quantity of materials collected for recycling and making recycling easier for everyone. The Environment Bill, which is currently progressing through Parliament, introduces legislation that will require all collectors of waste to collect a core set of materials from households, businesses, and other organisations such as schools. The core set will be plastic, glass, metal, paper and card, food and garden waste (for household only). By collecting the same core set of materials there will be less confusion among householders and businesses about what they can put in their recycling bins. As a result, the amount of materials that local authorities collect for recycling will increase.

We want to work closely with local authorities to help them improve their recycling performance. We plan to provide guidance and examples of good practice.