Household recycling, municipal waste and fly-tipping


The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) publishes waste and recycling statistics. Please note that the definition of 'household waste' sent for recycling, which is produced for each financial year and analysed in this report, differs from the narrower 'waste from households' sent for recycling definition, which was introduced by Defra in 2014. Statistics relating to the narrower definition are produced by calendar year.

Household waste sent for recycling, reuse or composting

The 2015/16 household waste sent for recycling, reuse and composting figures reveal that the rate for the Lancashire-12 area of 51.6% was ahead of the North West rate (46.1%) and the England average (43.0%). The Lancashire-12 percentage increased by 4.3% percentage points over the previous year. This compares with a yearly fall of 0.7 percentage points for England and a drop of 0.4 percentage points regionally.

The figure for the Lancashire-12 area is not simply an amalgamation of the rates for the 12 individual local authorities within the area, but also includes additional household waste. The county council is responsible for a number of household waste recycling centres, where the public can bring their own household waste, often bulky items, to the centres and bypass the districts' kerbside collections.

The district/unitary recycling, reuse and composting rates varied between lows of just 32.5% in Hyndburn and 33.7% in Rossendale, to 51.4% in Wyre and 52.4% in Fylde.

Blackpool (5.2 percentage points) and Burnley (3.6 percentage points) recorded notable improvements to their recycling rates over the previous 12 months.  

Recycling rates fell in three authorities in the Lancashire-14 area over the previous year. Hyndburn recorded the greatest fall of -1.8 percentage points followed by Preston (-1.5 percentage points) and Blackburn with Darwen (-0.4 percentage points).

Waste sent to landfill

With it becoming more expensive to send waste to landfill, it is vitally important to minimise the percentage that has to be disposed of via this method. For the 2015/16 financial year, 19.8% of municipal waste in England was sent to landfill, down from 24.6% in the previous year. The North West rate in 2015/16 was 24.2%. This was well above the lowest regional percentage of 11.3% recorded in the North East. The percentage of municipal waste sent to landfill in 2015/16 was 30.9% for the Lancashire-12 area, 16.9% for Blackpool and a substantial 44.7% for Blackburn with Darwen. The percentage for Blackburn with Darwen had however fallen significantly from 67.1% in 2014/15. The percentages sent to landfill also reduced in the Lancashire-12 area, by 8.5 percentage points since 2014/15, and by 8.8 percentage points in Blackpool.


A total of just over one million fly-tipping incidents were dealt with by local authorities in England in the year to March 2017, which represented a yearly increase of 7.1%. The results for Lancashire authorities reveal quite a volatile pattern with some very large increases and decreases from one year to the next. For the Lancashire-14 area, there were 32,826 reported incidents of fly-tipping during the year to March 2017, a 7.0% increase over the previous 12-month period. The latest results show that Pendle recorded the highest fly-tipping figure in the Lancashire-14 area with 5,704 incidents. In contrast South Ribble had just over 500 incidents.

Recycling specialists in Lancashire 

A selection of recycling specialists is included in the full report.

Further analysis

Household waste recycling and municipal waste 2015/16 plus fly-tipping, 2016/17 (PDF 464 KB)

Page updated November 2017.