Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Households recycling record amounts

Defra figures show wide variation in councils


A recylcing logo denoting a manufaturer funded recycling scheme

Households are recycling more rubbish, with more than 80% of local authorities collecting less waste than ever before, according to government figures released yesterday.

But there are still major discrepancies between the best and the worst performing councils across the country.

The statistics – published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – give a breakdown of how individual authorities are contributing towards attempts to reduce waste, recycle more and landfill less.


They reveal that a total of 94% of authorities recycled and composted more household waste in 2006/07 than in 2005/06, while 83% collected less household rubbish than in 2005/06.

In addition, 88% of disposal authorities landfilled less of their municipal waste for the year 2006/07 than in 2005/06.

Municipal waste is defined as any rubbish under the control of the local authority, including household waste, and that collected by a collection authority, such as parks and gardens waste, and commercial or industrial rubbish.

Councils vary

The figures reveal that South Somerset District Council tops the list of those collecting the lowest amount of household rubbish at 397lb (180kg) per person, while South Lakeland District Council in Cumbria collects the highest amount at 990lb (449kg) per person.

North Kesteven District Council in Lincolnshire had the highest percentage of household recycling and composting at 55%, and Tower Hamlets in London was the lowest at 11.8%.

The lowest percentage of municipal waste landfilled was 7%, recorded in the London Borough of Greenwich. The highest was the nearby City of London, which landfilled 93% of its municipal waste.

Some councils ‘must do more’

Climate Change and Waste Minister Joan Ruddock said: ‘These statistics show that many householders and local authorities have got the “reduce, reuse and recycle” message and are doing a great job.

‘They are helping in our battle against dangerous climate change. The best local authorities have achieved close to double the average.

‘But some authorities are not doing anywhere near enough. Under-performing councils must do more to help their residents reduce their rubbish and recycle more from their homes.’

© The Press Association, All Rights Reserved

Back to top