Skip to main content

Data on the reuse, recycling and composting of municipal waste for April 2020 to March 2021.

This period covers the main period of restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Care should be taken in comparing the 2020-21 results with previous years since it is not clear which effects are short term because of the pandemic and which are longer term. The recycling rate is the percentage of local authority municipal waste that was reused, recycled or composted. The recycling rate has increased considerably during the last two decades (from around 5% in the late 1990s).

Main points

  • The recycling rate increased from 65.1% in 2019-20 to 65.4% in 2020-21. This exceeds the target of 64% set in the 'Beyond Recycling' strategy.
  • 13 of the 22 local authorities reported an increase in their recycling rate compared to last year.
  • 1.47 million tonnes of local authority municipal waste were generated, a decrease of 2.6% on last year and the lowest reported figure to date.


Data on waste management are collected in order to monitor progress towards national and local targets; in particular against the requirements of the Waste Framework Directive and the Landfill Directive. In its current waste strategy 'Beyond Recycling', the Welsh Government set statutory targets of recycling a minimum of 64% of waste by 2019-20, and 70% of waste by 2024-25.

Data are sourced from the WasteDataFlow system, which is monitored by Natural Resources Wales. Quality information is available in accompanying Quality report.


Local authority municipal waste management: April 2020 to March 2021 , file type: PDF, file size: 1 MB

1 MB
If you need a more accessible version of this document please email Please tell us the format you need. If you use assistive technology please tell us what this is.


Datasets and interactive tools


Stuart Neil

Telephone: 0300 025 6822

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau a gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls and correspondence in Welsh.


Telephone: 0300 025 8099

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh.