Wales' green credentials are built on it exporting its waste to England for processing, according to the ‘Dry Recycling End Destinations – a Report for Local Authorities in Wales'.
The research, published by the Welsh Assembly, shows that more than 800,000 tonnes of waste collected by Wales' 22 local authorities was recycled or reused between April 2011 and March 2012, compared with 700,000 tonnes being sent to landfill.
Wales has therefore become the first UK nation to recycle more than it landfills. However, much of the country's waste is recycled elsewhere in the UK, principally in North West of England, the report found.
Alun Davies, the Welsh minister for natural resources, said: “Recycling not only benefits the environment but also supports the economy through the creation of jobs in the waste and resource management industry.
“I hope the report, which shows that our waste is being used as a valuable resource that can be recycled or re-manufactured here in Wales, encourages people to continue recycling and even start recycling more materials more often.”
The report was compiled by environmental consultancy firm SKM Enviros.