What a load of rubbish! Average Wiganer produces half a tonne every year

The average Wigan resident produces upward of half a metric tonne of rubbish a year each, shocking figures reveal.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 11:56 am
The amount of waste produced by each resident last year is as heavy as four washing machines

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs data shows that Wigan Council collected 403.6kg of household waste per person from homes in the area in 2019-20 – though that was 18.6kg less than five years earlier.

The amount of waste produced by each resident last year is as heavy as four washing machines.

Wigan Pier-based environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy said there is an “urgent need” to completely overhaul how waste collection and disposal is approached, with more responsibility on producers to reduce packaging.

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Of the waste collected from homes in Wigan, 52.8 per cent was sent for re-use, recycling or composting – five years ago the rate was 45.3 per cent.

This is well above the rate for the North West, where 45.6 per cent of household waste was sent for recycling or re-use in 2019-20.

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive officer of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Recycling rates have stalled for a decade. The hope is that the Environment Bill will see the crucial measures outlined in the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy actually come about.

“These include Extended Producer Responsibility, a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers and consistent recycling collections, including food waste, which if they happen will make all the difference and get us where we need to be in terms of our current goals.

“If, through introducing these measures, we can dramatically reduce the amount of packaging reaching the market, ensure that refillable options are incentivised and insist all single-use packaging is 100 per cent closed loop recyclable consistently across the national, then, and only then, we will hit our goals and fix a system that is currently going nowhere.”

She added that with a third of food produced being wasted, there was also an urgent need to reduce this type of waste.

“Ensuring young people learn to cook and value food is one aspect of the solution.

“In addition, we need to see an end to in-store promotions that encourage us to buy more than we need,” she added.

Residents across the North West produced 438.1kg of household waste per person in 2019-20 – 34.5kg more than in Wigan.

Across England, 407.3kg of rubbish per person were collected from homes in the year to March, a decrease from last year’s figure of 409.3kg.

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