Birmingham City Council fails to reach recycling target for fourth year in a row

on December 22, 2015

For the past five years, since 2010, Birmingham City Council has continually failed to achieve its self-imposed recycling targets, with the margin between the target and actual end of year rate increasing year-on-year.

Since 2010, the council has set itself the goal of recycling at least 33% of all collected waste. Despite missing the goal in 2010, the target was increased to 34% in 2011 and then again to 35% in 2012, where it still remains  in 2015 despite a continuing year-on-year failure to achieve any of the targets set.

Despite it being the fifth year that Birmingham City Council has failed to achieve its target, the council insist that it’s still one of the best performing councils for increasing recycling. A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said:

“Birmingham has always been amongst the best performing councils in respect of reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and the results for this measure in recent years have excelled.”

Despite last year having the worst difference between target and end of year figure, the council insisted that the roll-out of wheelie bins will improve overall recycling rates in the city. However, they were keen to point out that it will take a while before the full impact of this new scheme can be measured.

“The city-wide roll-out needs to be fully completed together with a period of stabilisation before an accurate assessment can be made. There are some early and ecouraging results from the depot area where bins have been rolled-out and stabilised.”

Birmingham City Council has since released the name of the streets considered, which can be viewed in the infographic.

The recycling target for this year remains the same at 35%.

Award-winning journalist based in Birmingham UK. Data Editor @ Birmingham Eastside and owner of @UKbynumbers. Contact me: @Loftysandro or

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