THE proportion of household waste sent for recycling from across the Dudley borough fell last year, new figures show.

Figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show 118,560 tonnes of waste were collected and disposed by Dudley Council in the year to March 2023.

Of this, about 42,083 tonnes were sent for reuse, recycling or composting – meaning the area had a recycling rate of 35.5 per cent per cent.

It was down from the year before when 36.4 per cent of household waste was sent for recycling.

Councillor Damian Corfield, cabinet member for highways and environment at Dudley Council, said of the figures: “We’ve seen a very slight decline in our recycling rates to March 2023, less than one per cent.

“We put this down to a particularly hot dry summer with less green growth, leading to less garden waste generally, affecting our recycling rate.

“We’ve also seen slightly less household recycling since the return to the workplace for many of our residents, as they spend less time at home, and subsequently are generating less household waste.”

He added: “We are currently reviewing our collection models which should help to significantly improve our recycling rates but would continue to encourage our residents to recycle as much as they can and visit our recycling pages to remind themselves of the wide range of items which can be recycled. It’s not just glass bottles, tin cans and drinks bottles.

“We also take cardboard packaging, toiletry and cleaning product bottles, clean foil, fruit and vegetable trays, yoghurt pots and much more.”

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Across England, the recycling rate also fell – from 42.5 per cent in 2021-22 to 41.7 per cent last year.

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: "It is disappointing to see our recycling rates falling at a time when we should be doing more than ever to stop valuable materials being buried or burned.

"We are falling further and further behind some of our neighbours in Europe. In Germany, 71 per cent of municipal waste is recycled and Slovenia has seen recycling rates increase from 22 per cent in 2010 to 60 per cent in 2021."

She said producers need to make it easier for people by using packaging that can be recycled in kerbside bin collections alongside a simpler recycling system.

Despite the overall reduction in waste collected from households, she said the amount of rubbish generated per person must be "dramatically cut".

She added: "We will do this by reducing the amount of 'stuff' we buy and repairing or reusing what we already own.”

Overall, total local authority managed waste in England decreased by six per cent to 24.5 million tonnes in the recent year.

The figures also show the estimated household waste fell from 417.2 kilograms per person in 2021-22 to 390.2 kilograms last year.

In the Dudley borough, about 365.9 kilograms of household waste was recorded per person last year – down from 393.3 kilograms in 2021-22.