Digest of Waste and Resource Statistics 2016

27 January by Miriam Heale


This week the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) published the second issue of the annual Digest of Waste and Resource Statistics.  It is data gathered from Defra, the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the Environment Agency, the Office for National Statistics and Eurostat, which outlines, amongst other items, the production of; household waste, food waste and refuse derived fuel (RDF).

Here is an overview of the report in those areas; 

Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)

  • Exports of Refuse Derived Fuel have increased from 9000 tonnes in 2010 to nearly 2.4 million tonnes in 2014 - an increase of over 250 per cent.

Waste from Households

  • Waste arising from households in the UK increased by 3.3% between 2013 and 2014 from 25.9 million tonnes to 26.8 million, but the 2014 tonnage is a decrease of 0.6% since 2010.
  • The tonnage of MSW sent to landfill fell to 18 million tonnes in 2013, compared to 25 million tonnes in 2010.
  • 9 million tonnes of the MSW sent to landfill in 2013 was biodegradable.
  • The annual rate of ‘waste from households’ recycling for 2014 was 44.8%, marginally up on the 44.2% achieved in 2013. It is up by 3.0% points since the 2010 calendar year.

Food Waste

  • 15 million tonnes of food and drink was wasted in the food chain in 2013. This is equivalent to around one third of the 41 million tonnes of food that is bought annually in the UK.
  • The highest proportion of this waste in the food chain was wasted in households, with 7 million tonnes being thrown away in the UK in 2013, or just under half of the 15 million tonnes that is thrown away.
  • Of the 7 million tonnes of household food and drink waste, 4.2 million tonnes was avoidable, 1.2 million tonnes was possibly avoidable and just 1.6 million tonnes was unavoidable.

Download the annual Digest of Waste and Resource Statistics