Nine out of 10 English local authorities reported an overall rise in recycling and composting in 2002-3 compared with the previous year, while a fifth have already achieved their 2003/2004 targets, according to figures just released in DEFRA’s Best Value Performance data.

The data suggests overall recycling and composting in England increased by 2% to nearly 15% in 2002-2003. Welcoming the news, Environment minister Elliott Morley said: “Local authorities are working extremely hard to put in place long term recycling solutions. In the last year there have been some outstanding examples.

“I am still concerned that one in 10 local authorities failed to improve their recycling rate this year. Every authority needs to play its part if we are to meet the very challenging national target of 25% in 2005-2006.”