J3: Municipal waste recycling rates

Interim Interim

Short description

This indicator shows changes in municipal waste recycling rates in England. The municipal waste recycling rate is the fraction of household waste and waste similar in nature and composition to household waste, which is recycled. The indicator reflects levels of everyday waste that is recycled and not sent for final disposal. Development of the Defra ‘waste tracking’ tool and further integration with data collected by local authorities will close some of the data gaps and enable collection of more comprehensive data.

This indicator is not available for reporting in 2021 in a finalised form. An interim indicator is presented here that shows trends in ‘household waste’ and ‘waste from households’ recycling rates. These data are already published annually as National Statistics, but further development is required to include waste that is similar in nature and composition to household waste such as non-household municipal waste. Information is available about the development of Defra’s ‘waste tracking’ tool.

Trend description

In the 2019/20 financial year, the recycling rate for ‘waste from households’ was 45.5%, up 3.6 percentage points on the equivalent figure for 2010/11 (when the measure was first reported). While the measure of ‘household waste’ recycling is based on a slightly broader definition of waste and therefore not directly comparable to ‘waste from households’, there has been a 34.3 percentage point increase in the waste recycling rate across the 2 measures between 2000/01 and 2019/20.


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This table provides metadata for the interim or final indicator presented above.

Indicator name

Municipal waste recycling rates

Indicator reference


Outcome Indicator Framework theme

Resource Use and Waste

Headline indicator status

Not applicable

Relevant goal(s) in the 25 Year Environment Plan
  • Minimising waste
Relevant target(s) in the 25 Year Environment Plan
  • Working towards our ambition of zero avoidable waste by 2050
Position in the natural capital framework
  • Pressure on natural capital assets
Related reporting commitments
  • None
Geographic scope

England; some data are available for local authorities.

Status of indicator development


Date last updated

11 June 2021