Discarded plastic bottle in woods

Compositional Analyses of Municipal Waste and Litter in Wales

7th June 2018

Waste Composition

In order to develop a solution to the issues created by waste, it is important to know what the waste is made up of.  To address this, WRAP Cymru has commissioned analyses into the composition of municipal waste and litter.

Compositional Analysis of Municipal Waste in Wales 

In 2015, WRAP Cymru commissioned a piece of work analysing the composition of Wales’ municipal waste; the results were published in June 2016.

The analysis showed that out of the 1.55 million tonnes of municipal solid waste collected in 2014-2015, 856,000 tonnes were collected for recycling either on the kerbside or via other types of collection.  This represented a substantial improvement compared to the previous analysis in 2009.

A considerable amount of recyclable material was still found to be present within the municipal waste stream.  Food waste was the main target material that was still more likely to be found in the residual waste streams than in the separate food waste services, with a 47 per cent capture rate at the kerbside.  The dry recycling materials were not as abundant within the residual waste streams, with good capture rates achieved for glass, paper and card, rubble and ferrous metals.  Dense plastics, textiles and non-ferrous metals were not as well captured as some of the other materials.

You can learn more by reading the Executive Summary or the full report.

Compositional Analysis of Litter in Wales

Published in June 2018, this waste compositional analysis project aimed to measure the composition of different types of litter and estimate the total composition of this stream in Wales.

As litter is collected in a number of different ways, a variety of sources were included in the analysis, as follows: litter bins, recycling on the go bins and litter picked up by street cleansing teams via carts and manual sweeping in four Welsh local authorities.

You can learn more by reading the Executive Summary or the full report.