The DEFRA website has some useful stats about the recycling rates of local authorities going back to 2005.
Table 3 of the local authority data 05-06 spreadsheet has the earliest LA data.
Table 3 of the LA-201011-v2 spreadsheet has the latest data.
Here’s the fun bit though.
The local authority data 07-08 has some additional key performance indicators about the cost of waste collection that don’t appear to have been continued in later datasets.
Column O shows the cost of waste collection per head for every local authority in England. Costs of waste collection and disposal are generally higher if recycling rates are lower, because more waste has to be sent to expensive landfill sites. But this is the first time I’ve seen local stats you can interrogate to bear this kind of thing out.
The stats show an average waste collection cost per head amongst all local authorities who returned such data as being £53.60. My home of Southampton comes in at above average, at a cost per head of £58.07.
Just in case DEFRA ever gets rid of this awesome spreadsheet, I’ve saved a copy of it here.