Wiganers produce more rubbish than the national average

The average Wigan resident generated hundreds of kilograms in household waste last year, figures suggest.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 12:30 pm

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs data shows Wigan Council collected an average of 450.6kg of household waste per person from homes in 2020-21: up from 403.6kg the year before, and the equivalent of around 113 family-sized turkeys each.

Wigan residents were more wasteful than the average person across England – 420.6kg of household waste was collected per person nationally on average, compared to 407.3kg in 2019-20.

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, chief executive of Wigan-based Keep Britain Tidy, said over 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated on Christmas Day across Great Britain, and one billion cards are thrown away.

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Staff kept busy at Wigan's Kirkless recycling centre

She added: “We all have a part to play in making the changes that will limit global warming and stem the rising tide of plastic that is choking our oceans. We must do better.

“Think about what you buy, what you consume and what you will do with the packaging waste that you create and make the right choices for our environment.”

Around 53 per cent of household waste in Wigan was sent for re-use, recycling or composting in 2020-21 – unchanged from in 2019-20.

Greenpeace said the considerable rise in national household waste is worrying, and that the figures likely underestimate the total volume of plastic thrown away.

Senior campaigner for Greenpeace UK, Nina Schrank, said the pandemic will have contributed, with people receiving more deliveries and disposing of more waste at home – but said too much packaging is sold already.

Resources and waste minister Jo Churchill said local authorities faced unprecedented challenges to keep rubbish collections running during the pandemic

She added: “Recycling and reusing more of our waste is key to helping us protect the environment for future generations.

“Despite a highly challenging year, less than 8% of local authority collected waste went to landfill, while food waste recycling from households increased by 12 per cent.”

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