Nearly a third of local authorities fear they will miss their recycling targets for 2005/6, according to a survey by wheeled bin manufacturer MGB Waste Systems.
The poll of 100 local authorities across the UK also found that more than half of the authorities questioned believed that the main difficulty in meeting the targets would be in getting residents to recycle.
MGB Waste Systems business manager Ian Bellamy said: Our survey shows the sheer scale of the challenge faced by some local authorities, which are unlikely to meet next years European Union recycling targets.
Educating the public about the importance of recycling and making them aware of the kind of goods that can be recycled is of the utmost importance.
More than 80% of respondents believed UK residents would eventually be charged by the weight of their non-recyclable waste. The same amount also thought that alternate-week collections were key to increasing recycling, since they encouraged people to divide their rubbish more equally.
The survey was carried out at the Recycling and Waste Management exhibition in mid-September.