Wales was the only UK nation to maintain its recycling rate throughout the pandemic, and it has now outperformed the rest of the UK for at least ten years. Wales recycled 56.5 percent of household waste in 2020, compared to 44.4 percent in the UK. It was also the only country in the UK to meet the European Union’s minimum 50 percent target. Minister for Climate Change Julie James stated that Wales must continue to raise its goals in order to achieve zero waste by 2050. Despite the pandemic and all of the obstacles it brought, local governments managed to prioritize recycling, collectors worked valiantly all the way through, and the wonderful people of Wales kept recycling. Wales produced 1.228 million tonnes of household garbage in 2020, with 694,000 tonnes of that being recycled. By 2024-2025, it hopes to have a recycling rate of 70 percent. England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland all have lower recycling rates in 2020.

Food waste has been collected separately from households across Wales for the past decade as part of an effort to recycle it. The Welsh government says that hot and compacted conditions in landfills transform food waste into methane gas, which is 30 to 80 times more harmful to climate change than carbon dioxide emissions. Food waste from 22 local authorities in Wales is delivered to one of five anaerobic digestion plants across the country, where it is transformed into 7 MW of electricity. According to the Welsh government, this is enough to power about 12,000 houses.