Evidencing Waste Prevention and Recycling Targets for Natural Resources Wales

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Natural Resources Wales is the largest Welsh Government Sponsored Body and is responsible for the environment and natural resources of Wales.

The organisation required data to monitor progress towards the Welsh Government’s waste prevention and recycling targets and to complete its strategy report to the European Union (EU). The data was also needed to inform waste planning, to support waste investment decisions, and to aid the development of waste management support strategies.


Anthesis collaborated with trusted partners, SLR, Groundwork Wales, and Ainsworth and Parkinson, to collect, analyse and report on the generation and processing of industrial and commercial waste in Wales. The project spanned 18 months and included a 6-month survey period.

1,755 businesses were selected from across Wales via a statistically valid manner, and face-to-face surveys were carried out at company sites. The businesses came from a variety of sectors, including food manufacturers, chemical manufacturers, utility companies, retailers, hotel groups and office-based businesses.

Over 10,000 lines of data were collected and analysed, with the results presented to the client as part of an 80-page report.


The results of the report revealed that:

  • Welsh industrial and commercial sectors generated an estimated 2.9 million tonnes of waste in 2018 which is a 22% (800,000 tonnes) reduction on the results of the previous 2012 survey.
  • 50% of waste came from industrial operations and 50% from commercial operations.
  • The rate of industrial and commercial waste prepared for re-use, recycling & composting increased by 9% from 58% to 67%, while the landfill rate decreased sharply, dropping from 26% to 11%.
  • The quantity of waste incinerated for energy recovery increased from 63,000 tonnes in 2012 (2% of the total) to 225,000tonnes (8% of the total).