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Findings from Recycling and Waste Management company CRJ Services’ Waste Index Report shows that despite efforts made by local councils to enhance household waste recycling, recycling rates have reached a stagnant point.

The report, which analyses seven years of waste collection data (dry recycling, residual waste, organic waste, and food waste) from the 10 largest councils by population in the UK, shows that certain regions have even witnessed an increase in the disposal of waste in landfills or through incineration methods. In 2021/22 across the ten largest councils by population, 508,657 tonnes of waste was recycled – the equivalent of six Taj Mahals.

• Leeds City Council: 72,196 tonnes
• Birmingham City Council: 67,544 tonnes
• Manchester City Council: 65,346 tonnes
• Bristol City Council: 55,089 tonnes
• Liverpool City Council: 52,515 tonnes
• Bradford Metropolitan District Council: 46,423 tonnes
• London Borough of Croydon: 44,437 tonnes
• Sheffield City Council: 42,225 tonnes
• London Borough of Barnet: 39,525 tonnes
• Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council: 23,357 tonnes

The Report launches in light of the National Infrastructure Commission recently calling on the government to “urgently implement” waste legislation needed to achieve a 65% recycling rate by 2035.

CRJ Services is now calling for local authorities to establish a consistent approach to tackling recycling across regions and support consumers in understanding more about how to recycle their household waste.

Budget cuts and funding restrictions have forced many local authorities to charge for recycling collection. Analysis from CRJ Services shows that charging households appears to reduce the amount of recycling collected overall, putting local authorities in a challenging position to meet recycling targets.

Rob Symons, Operations Director of CRJ, said: “Local authorities are facing difficult decisions and in many cases, are having to sacrifice practices that would encourage effective recycling in order to stay afloat – illustrated by our findings. And while people are getting better at recycling, there’s still a lack of understanding, knowledge and even care when it comes down to where to discard of your household waste.

“Private companies, especially manufacturers, have the power to reshape consumer behaviour and enhance recycling efforts without incurring substantial expenses. Whether it involves enhancing consumer awareness regarding packaging, or introducing recycling incentives, companies have the capacity to foster a genuine shift in individuals' waste-consciousness.”

CRJ Services is a comprehensive waste, recycling, and forestry equipment provider, operating throughout the UK and Ireland, delivering quality machinery and reliable service to more than 250 customers.

Click here to download your copy of the CRJ Services Waste Index Report.

Here is the average recycling rate by household for each of the top 10 largest local councils in the UK:

1. Bristol: 46%
2. Manchester City Council: 40%
3. London Borough of Croydon: 39%
4. Leeds City Council: 36%
5. Bradford Metropolitan District Council: 36%
6. Sheffield City Council: 32%
7. London Borough of Barnet: 30%
8. Kirklees: 27%
9. Liverpool City Council: 23%
10. Birmingham City Council: 23%

For more information, please contact George Fryer or Lorcan McCabe at Definition /

Notes to editors:

Data taken from the wrap LA portal, available at

CRJ Services Ltd is a comprehensive material processing equipment solutions provider, operating throughout the UK and Ireland. Renowned within our industry for quality, in both the machinery that we provide and the service we deliver.

We want to help create a future where the extraction of valuable materials and commodities from waste materials is comprehensive and efficient. As a machinery solutions provider, we support waste management, quarrying, and forestry companies to reach their goals and overcome processing challenges with top quality machinery, exceptional service levels, and a wealth of knowledge and passion for the job.

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