The Government recently announced that it was capping recycling targets at 30% for 2005/6 - affecting more than 100 councils.
Critics lined up to slate the move, with Friends of the Earth saying the Government was risking big fines for failing to comply with the Landfill Directive.
Even the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee said it was concerned that the cap would "mean the foot comes off the pedal".
But Bournemouth Borough Council - which has seen its target slashed from 40% to 30% - has insisted the reverse could be true.
"People are moaning that the Government has moved the goalposts, but local authorities now have a goal they think is achievable," said Bournemouth waste manager Roy Osborough.
"We are recycling less than 24% at the moment and never seriously believed we would hit 40%. I don't think many authorities across the UK expected to hit such high targets.
"In reality, the Government has removed any excuses local authorities might have had for not attaining their targets. It might help them get funding from councillors as they are working towards attainable targets."
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be pleased to hear this vindication of its decision.
A spokesman said last month of the cap: "This is not a bar on recycling more than 30% - authorities may still decide to drive towards higher recycling rates in 2005/6.
"The Government continues to expect local authorities to work towards more sustainable waste management - to deliver tough landfill diversion targets under the Landfill Directive and contribute to achievement of national recycling targets."