Northumberland is recycling less household waste now than it did five years ago, new figures reveal.
Between March 2016 and 2017, 38 per cent of all rubbish from households was recycled, reused or composted, three per cent 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.
The latest figures from Defra show that in the 12 months to the end of March, Northumberland cleared away a whopping 162,434 tonnes of rubbish, with 93 per cent of that household waste.
Of the 56,903 tonnes from homes that were recycled or reused, 59 per cent was dry recycling and the rest was compost – food and garden waste.
The 62 per cent that wasn’t recycled either went into landfill or was incinerated, with the ash going towards providing energy. Each household threw out, on average, 626kg of rubbish that was not reprocessed.
A Northumberland County Council spokesman said: “The council has invested in its waste services and offers a convenient kerbside recycling service to more than 99.3 per cent of all households in the county, as well as having a comprehensive network of local recycling sites.
“While the county is achieving a good recycling rate, the recycling performance has fallen slightly in recent years due to a combination of factors.
“This includes changes in consumer habits, the light-weighting of packaging and the temporary suspension of recycling services for some items (carpets and hard plastics) taken to household waste recovery centres due to a lack of viable end markets.”