The amount of household waste being recycled, reused or composted in England has topped 40% for the first time, the latest provisional figures show.
The official quarterly statistics from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) showed that 40.1% of household waste was recycled or reused in the 12 months to June 2010, slightly above the 39.7% recorded for the 12 months to March 2010.
There was a very small reduction in the amount of rubbish households generated, while the amount of waste being sent to landfill by local authorities decreased by 2.3%.
Commenting on the results, environment minister Lord Henley (Con), right, said: “We’re recycling more than ever before and producing less waste in the first place, with people across the country working hard to make this happen.
“This is great news that we want to see continue, and as part of the waste review we’re looking at how to make it even easier for us all to do the right thing.”
The government is publishing its review into household waste in the spring.
Becky Slater, waste campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: “The spectacular growth in recycling over the last 10 years has helped Britain save cash, tackle climate change and create thousands of new jobs.
“People around the UK are keen to get even more rubbish out of their bins - and we’re all frustrated by unnecessary packaging and having to bin stuff that councils don’t recycle.
“The government should make more recycling possible in our homes and workplaces, and aim to halve the rubbish that has to go into our black bin bags by 2020.”