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Data on the reuse, recycling and composting of municipal waste for October to December 2020.

The period October to December 2020 was during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (see additional information below for more details).

January to December 2020

  • 64.8% of waste was reused/recycled/composted, a slight increase from the year ending December 2019.

October to December 2020

  • 64% of municipal waste was reused/recycled/composted, a 1 percentage point increase on the same quarter of 2019.
  • 359,000 tonnes of municipal waste were generated, a 3% increase on the same quarter of 2019.


These figures are based on provisional data which is published quarterly, with final data for the financial year published annually.

The period October to December 2020 was during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The pandemic caused disruption in the collection of local authority waste during 2020-21 that has caused anomalies in the quarterly datasets.

During the October to December quarter there were a variety of restrictions in place for different local authorities at different times. At the start of the period, only some local authorities were under local lockdown, followed by the national circuit breaker (23 October to 9 November 2020). Towards the end of the period, restrictions increased further with a national lockdown (starting 20 December 2020). The impact on waste management data varied across local authorities as there were local differences in the operation of waste collections and sites being open. This makes it difficult to compare between local authorities as well as with previous quarters.

It is too early to understand the scale of the impacts of the pandemic to the overall household and local authority municipal waste annual datasets. Changes in COVID-19 restrictions are likely to continue to impact on local authority municipal waste data for more recent quarters, and these will be considered in future releases.


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.