The recycling rate for England rose to 40.8% between January and December 2010, according to new figures provided by Defra.
The quarterly waste management statistics, which compare the calendar year 2010 period to the 2009/10 financial year in order to minimise seasonal fluctuations, found that the amount of household waste sent for recycling, compost or re-use rose 1.1 percentage points to 10,293 tonnes, from 10,297 tonnes or 39.7%.
The figures also demonstrated that household waste production fell 2.3% to 23.2 million tonnes, from 23.6 million tonnes in 2009/10.
When the calendar year figures for 2009 and 2010 are compared side by side, it is found that the amount of waste sent to landfill fell 10%, while total waste reduced 3%.
Independent consultant Keith Kondakor told MRW: “The falling waste figure has been continuous now, virtually since 2004 or 2005, and we are now below 26 million tonnes of local authority collected waste.
“One of the significant things is the continuous drop in waste to landfill - it now stands at 44.2%, which is really encouraging.”