Eunomia’s third annual Recycling Carbon Index Report shows that the CO2 emissions savings from local authorities’ waste and recycling services have improved markedly between 2012/13 and 2013/14 despite the levelling off of English recycling rate performance.

  • Recycling by local councils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland saved more CO2 in 2013/14 than ever before.
  • In England, 64% of authorities have improved their Recycling Carbon Index performance, in Wales 81% improved, and in Northern Ireland 73%.
  • Eunomia’s online interactive tool ( allows councils’ CO2 savings to be compared with one another and between years

Council recycling services in England saved 4% more greenhouse gases in 2013/14 than in 2012/13 and Welsh authorities achieved an increase of 6%. Northern Ireland’s local authorities achieved the biggest improvement diverting a full 7% more carbon over the same period.


Increased captures of metals and plastics have been critical to the increase. In 2013/14, 1.7 million tonnes of carbon were saved as a result of recycling these materials, which have higher levels of embodied carbon than other recycling such as paper, card or glass.

This report is available free of charge. Please provide a few details about yourself and one of the team will email you the full report shortly.