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Waste and recycling

Local authority waste collection totals and recycling rates

Housing and land Net Zero Newcastle North Tyneside South Tyneside Durham Gateshead Sunderland Northumberland
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Collected waste totals

  • In 2022/23, in the seven local authority areas within the North East LEP area:
    • Total local authority collected waste was just over 924,000 tonnes
    • this was 6.7% lower than in the previous year and 2.0% lower than five years earlier
    • about 89% was household waste. The amount of this had also decreased by 6.7% in the latest year and by 2.0% since 2017/18
    • total non-household waste was 6.6% lower than in 2021/22 and 1.8% lower than five years earlier
    • recycled waste made up 32.6% of all waste
    • the total tonnage of recycled waste was 11.7% lower than in 2021/22 and 12.0% lower than in 2017/18
    • the total weight of non-recycled waste had also decreased in the latest year, but only by 4.0%. It was 3.7% higher than five years earlier.
  • Among the seven local authority areas:
    • Over 27% of North East waste was from County Durham, with the next highest percentage (almost 18%) from Northumberland
    • collected waste totals decreased in all seven areas in the latest year
    • compared to five years earlier, the latest totals were higher in County Durham and Northumberland and lower in the five other areas.
  • A longer time series is available for the North East region (including Tees Valley):
    • In 2022/23, total collected waste in the North East region was almost 25% lower than 20 years earlier
    • the majority of the 20 year decrease took place in the first ten years of the period, when the total had decreased by just over 22%
    • it decreased by only 3.4% in the most recent ten years
    • household waste in the region decreased by 19% in the latest two decades, with non-recycled household waste decreasing by 40% as the amount of recycled household waste almost quadrupled.

Household waste recycling rates

  • In the North East LEP area in 2022/23:
    • Just under 33% of household waste was recycled, composted or reused
    • this was lower than the England rate (just under 42%)
    • at a local level, the rate was highest in County Durham (about 37%) and lowest in Newcastle (less than 26%).
  • There is a longer time series for the North East region (including Tees Valley):
    • In 2022/23, the North East region's recycling rate was 31.2%,
    • this was the lowest rate among the nine English regions
    • in the latest 20 years, the North East region's rate increased by almost 25 percentage points
    • however, it decreased by almost 6 percentage points in the second decade of that period.