About 5% of recyclable items collected on the doorstep are rejected, but which.co.uk found that some councils rejected more than 10% of municipal waste.
Councils that use co-mingled collection systems, where materials are collected mixed together, generally have higher rejection rates than those that operate a kerbside sorting system.
Recycling is rejected when it is "contaminated", for example if people put the wrong materials in the wrong bin. which.co.uk said that improved collection systems, clearer information about how to recycle, and more careful recycling by consumers could reduce the amount that ends up in landfill.
It costs councils more to send rubbish to landfill than it does to recycle it, so the more people recycle successfully, the lower council tax bills should be. Sending rubbish to landfill will cost £620million this year in England alone.
Jess Ross, editor of which.co.uk, said: "Recycling our household waste has never been easier, but more could be done by councils and by consumers to ensure that we recycle more waste, more effectively.
"Not only will it reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, but it could even save us money on our council tax bills – which is a great incentive to recycle better."
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