The survey covered 357 councils and ranked them according to the rates of re-use, recycling or composting.

Staffordshire Moorlands comes top of the English league with 61.8% of household waste sent for re-use, recycling, or composting.

Ashford Borough Council has the worst record with only 15.3% of household waste sent for re-use, recycling, or composting.

The report has been published in the context of the planned increase in Landfill Tax, which is due to rise over the next for years from £48 per tonne to £80 per tonne.

The bulk of waste not recycled is destined for landfill. The report calculates the cost to council tax payers if all the household waste not recycled is sent to landfill at the 2010 rate. It also calculates the figure that would be payable in 2014 at the higher rate of £80.

For England, it says, the total cost would be £1.1 billion. This figure would rise to £1.7 billion in 2014 if it was all sent to landfill.

GMB national secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “Dumping waste in landfill sites is not only bad for the environment – it’s also increasingly uneconomic.

“At the moment the bill is around £I billion per annum charged on households through the council tax and the total cost including landfill site fees is double that.

“Unless councils make a concerted effort to improve recycling rates the landfill tax bill is set to rise by around £670 million per annum taking the total cost of landfill to over £3 billion per annum.”

Alison Brown

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