Horsham is recycling less household waste now than it did five years ago, new figures reveal.
Between March 2016 and 2017 45% of all rubbish from households was recycled, reused or composted, 4% less than between the same period from 2011 to 2012.
This is despite a renewed focus on the environment and the use of plastic over the past five years, as well as the development of new technologies.
It is higher than the worst performing council in England and Wales, the east London borough of Newham, which recycled just 14% of its household waste.
But Horsham’s 2017 figure is below the government’s current household waste recycling target of 50% by 2020, set by the EU.
The latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) show that in the 12 months to the end of March this year Horsham cleared away a whopping 59,188 tonnes of rubbish, with 95% of that household waste.
Of the 24,902 tonnes from homes that were recycled or reused, 51% was dry recycling and the rest was compost - food and garden waste.
The 55% that wasn’t recycled either went into landfill or was incinerated, with the ash going towards providing energy. Each household threw out on average 521kg of rubbish that was not reprocessed.
Defra doesn’t have a complete data set to show how much waste local authorities dispose of in the ground, however nationally this has almost halved in the last five years while the amount being used to provide energy from waste has doubled.
The average proportion of household waste recycled in England was 44%, lower than in Wales where 55% was reused.
That puts Wales only second after Germany in the world for recycling household waste, according to environmental analysts Eunomia.
England sits behind South Korea, Slovenia and Italy in 18th place.
Recycling has been on the news agenda lately with David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II shining a light on how plastic is affecting our marine wildlife. It is thought more than eight million tonnes is dumped into the world’s oceans annually.
Last week China revealed it may stop importing plastic from foreign countries including the UK, which may impact local authorities.
According to the environmental organisation Greenpeace, in the last year Britain shipped more than 2.7 million tonnes to China and Hong Kong.
Experts believe the restrictions could force councils to stop recycling certain types of plastic, as fees at sorting plants are likely to increase.