73 councils in England exceeding recycling targets

73 councils in England already meet or exceed 2020 recycling targets, according to data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The recycling target of 50 per cent of household waste by 2020 is set by the EU. Across the 320 councils in England, out of a total waste of 23,169,167 tonnes, 10,117,005 tonnes was sent for recycling, representing 43.7 per cent of total household waste in England.

The council with the highest recycling rate was South Oxfordshire District Council, where 67.3 per cent of household waste is recycled, followed by Vale of White Horse District Council with 65.6 per cent and Rochford District Council with 65.2 per cent.

The worst performing councils are the Isles of Scilly with 14.1 per cent, Lewisham with 17.1 and Newham 17.2 per cent.

Justin Bowden, GMB union national officer for refuse and recycling workers, said: "It is a great credit to all those working in waste collection and recycling that such great strides have been made over the last decade to recycle more at the same time as increasing efficiency. We are well on the way for many councils to meet the EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50 per cent of waste generated by households by 2020.”