The UK sorts our rubbish at higher rates than anywhere else in the world, so why is so much being incinerated

In the UK we have incredibly stringent rules on recycling. Indeed, there are regular suggestions about giving people smaller bins so that we send less rubbish to the dump.

If this is the case, why is so much of our recycling simply being burned?

Freedom of information requests have shown that roughly 11% of the UK recycling waste simply gets burned. More alarmingly it seems that where-ever in the country we have incineration contracts more waste is burned. This is alarming, because it suggests that councils feel that financial contracts are more important than their service that they are there to provide (like recycling waste).

Oddly, while reporting CO2 emissions from fossil fuel waste such as plastic, there is no law about reporting emissions from food and garden waste that is also burned.

What is worse, is that this electricity is often claimed as low carbon, because the waste would otherwise rot in a dump.

Clearly, the UK needs to improve its rules on waste, otherwise our numbers will cease to be related to reality. Further more, countries around the world will start to call us out.

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