Industrial and Commercial Waste Survey 2018

Data was collected from 1,755 business sites of differing sectors and sizes throughout Wales between April 2019 and October 2019. The data was grossed up using population data to Welsh regional and national levels.

Main findings

  • Welsh industrial and commercial sectors generated an estimated 2.9 million tonnes of waste which is a 22% (800k tonne) reduction on the total waste generation (3.7 million tonnes) derived from the previous 2012 survey
  • 50% was from industrial operations
  • 50% was commercial operations
  • The preparation for re-use, recycling & composting rate for industrial and commercial waste generated combined increased by 9 percentage points from 58% to 67%, while the land disposal rate decreased sharply, dropping from 26% to 11%
  • The quantity of waste incinerated for energy recovery increased from 63k tonnes in 2012 (2% of the total) to 225k tonnes (8% of the total)

Type of waste

The most significant type of I&C waste generated was mixed wastes with 24%, followed by paper and cardboard and metallic waste both with 15%, then animal and vegetable wastes with 11%.

Management of waste

In relation to how these wastes were managed:

  • 1.3 million tonnes or 45% was recycled
  • 413 thousand tonnes or 14% was prepared for re-use
  • 306 thousand tonnes or 11% was disposed of via landfill
  • 236 thousand tonnes or 8% was sent for incineration
  • 218 thousand tonnes or 8% was composted
  • 200 thousand tonnes or 7% was treated
  • 97 thousand tonnes or 3% was sent for land recovery
  • The remainder - 127 thousand tonnes or 4% - was classified as ‘other’

Hazardous waste

An estimated 225 thousand tonnes of hazardous waste was generated by industry and commerce in 2018 out of a total waste generation of 2.9 million tonnes (8%). The estimated split of this was 137 thousand tonnes Industrial (61%) and 88 thousand tonnes Commercial (39%).

The industrial sectors generating the largest quantity of industrial hazardous waste were the manufacture of basic metals, and metal products sector (46%) followed by the manufacture of furniture, other manufacturing, repair and installation sector (19%). 

Read the reports

Survey of Industrial and Commercial Waste Generated in Wales 2018


Technical Appendices


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