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Municipal Waste management

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Outcomes, policies and actions for managing household waste collected by local authorities.

Municipal waste is waste, recycling, and bulky items collected by local authorities from homes and businesses.


The overarching waste strategy Towards Zero Waste sets the the following targets for municipal waste collected by local authorities:

  • a minimum of 70% of waste being reused, recycled or composted by 2024/25
  • a maximum of 30% energy being created from waste by 2024/25
  • a maximum of 5% of waste being landfilled by 2024/25
  • Wales to achieve zero waste by 2050.

The recycling targets become law from April 2012 under the Waste (Wales) Measure 2010. The first statutory target is to reuse, recycle or compost 52% of municipal waste collected by local authorities in 2012-13. The next target is 58% in 2015/16.

The Landfill Allowances Scheme (Wales) Regulations 2004 (The LAS regulations) came into force in Wales on 1 October 2004, to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) going to landfill sites.

Monitoring progress

Every 3 months Local Authorities enter their data onto WasteDataFlow (external link) to report on recycling, re-use, composting and disposal activities. We report provisional results for Local Authorities in Wales through the Quarterly release which is designed to give an early indication of trends.

Read the latest waste statistics.

Useful links

More information on municipal waste management statistics in England is available on English municipal waste management statistics: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (external link).

More information on municipal waste management statistics in Northern Ireland is available on Northern Ireland's municipal waste management statistics: Northern Ireland Environment Agency (external link). 

More information on municipal waste management statistics in Scotland is available on Scotland's municipal waste management statistics: Scotland Environment Protection Agency website (external link)