Merseyside recycling levels continue to increase

Merseyside recycling levels are improving apace with almost a quarter of all the region’s waste being recycled….

Merseyside recycling levels are improving apace with almost a quarter of all the region’s waste being recycled.

The figure for the region has increased by 4.1% over the past 12 months and is now at 22.52%*.

Figures released by Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) confirm that Merseyside residents’ increased efforts to recycle are having an impact.

Carl Beer, Director of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, said: “Merseyside’s recycling levels are improving year on year and have finally broken through the 20% barrier. We know our residents are extremely keen to do their bit so we’re very grateful for their continuing efforts.”

Other figures include:

MWDA surpassed its 2006/07 recycling target of 22% – an improvement on last year’s rate of 18.5%

Over the past four years recycling performance on Merseyside has increased overall by 12.47%

Last year Merseyside recycled more waste than ever before with 174,940 tonnes being recycled or composted, compared to 142,550 tonnes the previous year

The amount of waste currently being recycled is more than double what it was in 2003/04 (77,934 tonnes)

There has been a slight increase in the amount of waste created with 2512 tonnes extra compared to the previous year. However, this figure is still 19,957 tonnes less than 2004/05

Carl Beer continued: “Several things are happening which are helping to increase recycling levels – better infrastructure is being put in place for people to use, such as improved kerbside collections; the message to recycle is being repeated again and again and is clearly having an impact; and most importantly people are realising that whatever waste you create has to be dealt with, it won’t magically disappear.

“The simple fact is waste is a resource and not something you can just throw away.”

Merseyside’s 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) improved their annual performance by recycling just over 40% of material – this is a seven percent increase on last year’s figure and double the amount recycled just four years ago.

MWDA also run a scheme which supports community recycling, and last year it prevented 4427 tonnes of waste from going to landfill.

Third Party Recycling Credits is a partnership of MWDA, Merseyside’s district councils and local community recyclers. There are 55 organisations on the scheme carrying out recycling at 221 locations throughout the region.

One local organisation which has been using Recycling Credits for 20 years is Bishop Eton Catholic Primary School. In 1987 they recycled 160 kg of paper, raising £12.96. In the 20 years since, the local community, parish and school have recycled 1680 tonnes of paper raising £45,274.

Cllr Kevin Cluskey, Chairperson of MWDA, said: “As pleased as we are with the improved recycling rate we know there is still much work to be done. By working together with our district council partners, by listening to the public, and by improving our own facilities we can achieve our future targets.

“In particular we are impressed with the high rate at our Recycling Centres, and would encourage people to use the facilities to their full potential by recycling as much as possible of what they bring.

“We are about to deliver a £3 billion contract on Merseyside which will transform the way we handle waste by enabling us to build new facilities – for waste that has not been recycled at kerbside – and improve the ones that already exist. There are going to be some tough decisions to be made, and hopefully people will get right behind us and the decisions we make.”


Notes to editors:

*as of April 2007

MWDA is a local government body consisting of nine elected Members, representing the five constituent district councils in the Merseyside area. It is responsible for organising and managing the disposal of waste collected by the five District Councils of Merseyside and for managing the 14 HWRC’s across Merseyside. See more at

The 22.52% recycling rate is a pooled figure for Knowsley Council, Liverpool Council, Sefton Council, St Helens Council, Wirral Borough Council and Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority

Recycling Credits are paid by Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority to provide an incentive to District Councils and Not-for Profit Organisations to recycle and reflects the cost savings in diverting waste, which would otherwise have been the Authority’s responsibility to manage.

MWDA has developed a £3.3 billion procurement programme to deliver its waste management needs over the next 25 years. The contract will be delivered in three parts:

(i) Landfill Contract – to provide landfill for the disposal of residual waste. This contract is intended to be flexible and to fit around the development of new residual waste facilities that are estimated to be developed between 2011 and 2015.

(ii) Waste Management and Recycling Contract (WMRC) – To provide management services to existing residual waste and Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and transport. This contract will be procured through Competitive Dialogue and a shortlist of four has been announced: SHANKS, SITA, VEOLIA and WRG. Final selection is likely to be made by May 2008 in advance of the new contract start date of September 2008.

(iii) Resource/Recovery Contract – this contract is primarily for the development of residual waste facilities. This contract will be procured through Competitive Dialogue.

Landfill tax is £24 per tonne in the 2007/08 financial year and is set to rise by £8 per tonne each year from 2007/2008 to 2010/2011 to a current maximum of £48 per tonne.

The UK has been set targets to reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfill under the EU Landfill Directive. Taking account of the derogation to which the UK is entitled, the Directive requires the volume of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill to be reduced to 75% of the 1995 levels by 2010; 50% by 2013; and 35% by 2020.

An independent report by the Audit Commission last year found that MWDA offers a ‘fair service that has promising prospects for improvement’ (August 2006).

It was estimated in 2006 that around two-thirds of waste thrown away on Merseyside could be recycled.