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Local authority municipal waste management

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  • Release date: 21 February 2019
  • Period covered: 2017-18 and July to September 2018
  • Next update: 23 May 2019
Data on the reuse, recycling and composting of municipal waste.

July to September 2018

Release date: 21 February 2019

Key points

  • Based on provisional data, the local authority municipal waste combined reuse/recycling/composting rate was 63% for the 12 months ending September 2018. This is the same percentage as it was for the 12 months to the end of September 2017.
  • In the July to September 2018 quarter, 64% of local authority municipal waste in Wales was reused/recycled/composted. This is the same percentage as it was when compared with the same quarter of 2017.
  • In the July to September 2018 quarter, the total amount of local authority municipal waste generated in Wales decreased by 4% compared to the same quarter of 2017. The tonnage decreased from 413 to 396 thousand tonnes.


Release date: 17 October 2018

Key points

  • The percentage of local authority municipal waste that was reused, recycled or composted has increased considerably during the last two decades (from around 5% in the late 1990s). For the first time, there was a small decrease in the rate between 2016-17 and 2017-18 (from 63.8% to 62.7%). However, this decrease is partly due to an improvement in the quality of reporting.
  • 17 of the 22 local authorities reported a decrease in their reuse/recycling/ composting rates compared to 2016-17.
  • The total amount of local authority municipal waste collected decreased by 40,111 tonnes (2.5%) and the amount of waste sent for recycling dropped 43,304 tonnes compared to 2016-17.


Data on waste management are collected in order to monitor progress towards national and local targets; in particular against the requirements of the Waste Framework Directive and the Landfill Directive. In its current waste strategy ‘Towards Zero Waste’ (2010), the Welsh Government set statutory targets of recycling 70% of waste by 2024-25.

Data are sourced from the WasteDataFlow system, which is monitored by Natural Resources Wales. Quality information is available in accompanying Quality Report.
Natural Resources Wales monitors and assists Welsh local authorities to continually improve the accuracy of their reported end destinations in WasteDataFlow. From 2017-18 there has been enhanced validation of specific materials throughout the scheme year to improve the accuracy and consistency of reported end destinations amongst local authorities. Consequently, the provisional data published in quarterly releases is more susceptible to change throughout the scheme year than in previous years.

Further information

Key results and StatsWales are published quarterly and a report will be published annually.


Tel: 0300 025 5055

Tel: 0300 025 8099

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