East is second best for recycling

THE East of England is the second best region in England for recycling, according to new figures published by the Friends of the Earth environment group.

THE East of England is the second best region in England for recycling, according to new figures published by the Friends of the Earth environment group.

However, the group says that nationally the recycling performance is "appalling" – well behind Government targets and the achievements of many other European countries.

The Friends of the Earth figures suggest that 17.3% of domestic waste in the east of England is now being recycled compared with 15.2% in 2000/1.

The only region with a better performance is the South East with a recycling rate of 17.7%.


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The lowest rates are found in the north of England with 5.1% in the North East, 8.9% in the North West and 8.8% in Yorkshire/Humberside.

The National recycling rate is now 12.4% - up from 11.2 percent in 200/1.

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But in Austria 64% of domestic waste is now being recycled and nine other countries are doing better than the UK – Belgium (52%), Germany (48%), Holland (47%), Denmark (39%), Sweden and Finland (33%), Spain (27%), Italy (16%) and France (14%).

The UK Government has set a national target of recycling 30% of domestic waste by the year 2010 but Friends of the Earth is calling for a higher target.

A committee of MPs recently described the Government's recycling policy as "too timid".

Mary Edwards, Friends of the Earth spokeswoman in East Anglia, said at the current rate of progress - an annual improvement of about 1% - the UK's "appalling" recycling performance was likely to leave it dragging behind much of the rest of Europe for the foreseeable future.

"When will the Government take this issue seriously? It could show that it really means business by supporting Joan Ruddock's recycling Bill, currently before Parliament, which would lead to comprehensive doorstep recycling across the country," she said.

Under the Ruddock proposals schemes would be introduced for the sorting of waste on the doorstep to make the recycling process much easier.

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