Wales was the only UK country to keep its recycling rate constant throughout the pandemic, and it has now outpaced the rest of the UK for at least ten years. In 2020, 56.5 percent of household garbage in Wales was recycled, compared to 44.4 percent in the UK. It was also the only country in the United Kingdom to achieve the European Union’s minimum 50 percent target. According to Minister for Climate Change Julie James, Wales must keep raising its ambitions in order to achieve zero waste by 2050. Despite the pandemic and all of the challenges it brought, local governments prioritized recycling, collectors worked tirelessly throughout, and the good people of Wales continued to recycle. Wales aims to achieve a recycling rate of 70 percent by 2024-2025.

For the past decade, food trash has been collected separately from households across Wales in an effort to recycle it. According to the Welsh government, food waste is converted to methane gas in landfills in hot and compacted circumstances, which is 30 to 80 times more harmful to climate change than carbon dioxide emissions. Food waste is transferred to one of five anaerobic digestion plants in Wales, where it is converted into 7 MW of energy. The Welsh government says that this is enough to power around 12,000 homes.