Concerns have been raised after the Government reduced recycling targets for over 100 councils.
The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) fears the move will hamper attempts at complying with the Landfill Directive.
The Governments Waste Strategy set out to hit a recycling rate of 25% in 2005/6 in order to comply with the EU law on reducing the use of landfill sites.
But with latest figures showing English councils recycled only 14.5% in 2002/3, Environment Minister Elliot Morley has capped individual targets at 30% for 2005/6.
A LARAC spokesman said: LARAC is concerned this could mean the foot comes off the pedal, and the Government-desired step-change does not continue.
But the body representing councils welcomed last weeks publication of a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) five-year strategy.
LARAC chairman Andy Doran said: Overall, it is a welcome strategy that focuses more attention on the production and consumption agenda than its predecessor. Local authorities will be interested to see the size and scope of some of the programmes.
DEFRA retains the unenviable task of managing the black art of policy development that will mix the right levels of regulation with economic incentives to achieve sustainable outcomes.