ARCHIVE: e-Digest Statistics about: Waste and Recycling
A number of ratios have been developed for comparing recycling performance. Terms such as 'recovery rate' and 'recycling rate' are widely used, but are defined in different ways by different users. Such terms are, therefore, open to misinterpretation.
Owing to the confusion over the term 'recycling rate', the ratios presented in the tables in this section do not use this terminology. The ratios shown reflect the amount of secondary material used (scrap collected less exported scrap plus imported scrap) in the UK in a year as a proportion of total consumption in that year. This gives some indication of the extent to which secondary material is supplementing raw materials in the feedstock.
The weakness of this definition is that material which is being recycled now and related to current consumption might originally have been delivered to an end market some years ago. For products that have a short lifetime, i.e. are discarded within 12 months of purchase, this is of little importance. However, materials such as aluminium may be used in products which have a life-span of many years and distortions arise because these materials may have been placed on the market up to 30 years ago.
- Key Facts:
- Materials recycling compared to consumption
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Page last modified: 16 September 2003
Page published: 10 September 2003