BRADFORD is recycling less household waste now than it did five years ago, shocking new figures reveal.

Between March 2016 and 2017 37 per cent of all rubbish from households was recycled, reused or composted, 3 per cent less than between the same period from 2011 to 2012.

It is higher than the worst performing council in England and Wales, the east London borough of Newham, which recycled just 14 per cent of its household waste.

But Bradford’s 2017 figure is significantly below the government’s current household waste recycling target of 50 per cent by 2020, set by the EU.

Bradford Council says the reduction in recycling rates is due to the reclassification of certain types of waste.

The latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) show that in the 12 months to the end of March this year Bradford cleared away a 231,453 tonnes of rubbish, with 87 per cent of that household waste.

Of the 74,369 tonnes from homes that were recycled or reused, 60 per cent was dry recycling and the rest was compost - food and garden waste.

The 63 per cent that wasn’t recycled either went into landfill or was incinerated, with the ash going towards providing energy. Each household threw out on average 593kg of rubbish that was not reprocessed.

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “The reduction in recycling rate figures for Bradford is the result of a significant proportion of secondary treated waste which was in previous years designated by the Environment Agency as recycled ‘compost like’ waste, being reclassified as ‘landfill’.

“The decline in figures does not reflect a reduction in household recycling.

"In fact, household recycling figures increased by 1,300 tonnes from April to September this year.

“Earlier this year, Bradford Council introduced alternate week recycling/residual waste bin collections which should increase household recycling rates even further.”

The average proportion of household waste recycled in England was 44 per cent, lower than in Wales where 55 per cent was reused.

That puts Wales only second after Germany in the world for recycling household waste, according to environmental analysts Eunomia.

England sits behind South Korea, Slovenia and Italy in 18th place.

Recycling has been on the news agenda lately with David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II shining a light on how plastic is affecting our marine wildlife.

It is thought more than eight million tonnes is dumped into the world’s oceans annually.

Last week China revealed it may stop importing plastic from foreign countries including the UK, which may impact local authorities.

According to the environmental organisation Greenpeace, in the last year Britain shipped more than 2.7 million tonnes to China and Hong Kong.

Experts believe the restrictions could force councils to stop recycling certain types of plastic, as fees at sorting plants are likely to increase.