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Cardiff Confirmed as Leading Recycling City in the UK


Cardiff’s impressive recycling rates are praised on the eve of Recycle Week – but the message is that more still needs to be done.

Recycle rates in Cardiff have increased from 4% to 58% over the last 15 years making it the UK’s best Core City in terms of recycling. However, Cardiff needs to recycle a further estimated 20,000 tonnes of the city’s waste by 2025 to meet the Welsh Government’s 70% target.

Even when accounting for the differences in collection data, with a recycling rate of 58.1% Cardiff outperforms other major UK Core Cities. According to the latest official figures Bristol has a recycling rate of 43.4%, Edinburgh is on 42.3%, Manchester’s rate is 36% and Glasgow has reached 26%.

Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, Cllr Michael Michael said:

“At the start of Recycle Week I am very proud to say that Cardiff is Britain’s leading major city at recycling, but we mustn’t become complacent as more needs to be done if we’re to reach our statutory target by 2025. But I think that Recycle Week provides an excellent opportunity to stress the importance of recycling. Something that Cardiff and the whole of Wales clearly embraces as the country is now one of the best recycling nations in the World.”

Last December a leading study by the environment consultancy Eunomia named Wales the third best recycling nation in the World because of a recycling rate of 64%.

A spokesperson for Eunomia said:

“It’s important to note this research has been carried out so we can identify who the real leaders in recycling are, to share best practice by shining a spotlight on what these countries are doing. We also hope that this will help progress the debate on how best to measure ‘real’ recycling, in line with the principles of the waste hierarchy, in a way that is as consistent as possible within Europe and further afield.”

Campaign manager for Recycle for Wales, Catrin Palfrey said:

“Increasingly people in Wales are recycling all they can from all around the home and our world rankings reflect this. Here in Cardiff it’s no different – more and more of us are recycling, so thank you for doing all you can and keep up the good work! Together we can help get Wales to number one.”

Recycle Week ran from Monday 24 September to Sunday 30 September.