Defra stats show 90,000 tonnes less of paper and card were collected from households

household recycling bin

Statistics for the waste managed by local authorities in England for 2017/18 has been published by Defra and shows that paper and card had the largest drop in material collected. 

While the report stated that the proportions of materials haven’t changed significantly over the years 2013-2017, it found that paper and card were down by 90,000 tonnes or 4%.  


Between 2013 and 2017, a total of 4.1% less paper and card has been collected. 

Other key findings include: 

  • The official England waste from households recycling rate for 2017 was 45.2%, up 0.3 percentage points from 44.9% in 2016. However, 0.8% was added because metals from incinerator bottom ash was included for the first time. This means the underlying recycling rate compared to 2016 was down 0.5%.  
  • WEEE & other scrap metal fell by 36,000 tonnes or 6%, and ‘other materials’ were down 25,000 tonnes or 3% 
  • Plastics from household waste decreased by 5,000 tonnes or 1% 
  • Food waste sent for composting increased by 8.7% in 2017, but still remains a small proportion of the total waste collected (2%) 
  • Total ‘waste from households’ in England decreased by 1.5% in 2017 to 22.4 million tonnes from 22.8 million tonnes in 2016.

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