A recent study conducted by Defra, the government body for the environment, has provided a whole range of statistics on the waste and resource sector which show that commercial and industrial waste arisings are on the increase.
Waste Arisings On the Increase
The data come from the period 2009 to 2012, showing that waste arisings increased from 44,998,000 tonnes to 47,567,000 tonnes in the UK. The largest sector by far was the services sector, with this area seeing its waste arisings fall slightly from 27,620,000 tonnes to 27,531,000 over the three years.
Electricity, gas and steam supply was the next largest sector with its waste arisings increasing from 3,907,000 tonnes in 2009 to 4,965,000 tonnes in 2012. It also showed that between 2011 and 2012, packaging waste arisings fell but increased for recycling.
Total packaging arisings in 2011 were 10,929,700 tonnes but by 2012 this had decreased to 10,655,300 tonnes. These figures mean that in total, 67.1% of material was recycled or recovered in 2011, rising further to 69.1% in 2012. Because of this the European Union target of 60% was comfortably met.
The study, called the Defra Digest of Waste and Resource Statistics – 2015 Edition, also looks at a number of other factors in how our waste has been dealt with over the last 5-6 years. It looks at raw material usage in the UK and food waste issues.
Overall, the statistics show that the waste sector has grown faster than the overall economy, however defra also believe that a huge fall which occurred after the financial crash of 2008 is not included in these statistics and will cause a major setback when published in the next report.
This leaves the figures for waste arisings difficult to predict in the immediate past and more importantly the immediate future. Figures for commercial waste collection are continuing to improve, but are too easily affected by outside factors including political problems.
View the Digest of Waste and Resource Statistics here .
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