BRIGHTON and Hove’s recycling rates have slipped to a new low – with only 25.8% of waste reused.

The city council is one of the worst performing local authorities in the country, despite the current Green administration pledging that 70% of all domestic waste would be recycled by the end of May 2015.

There were disappointing results also for Crawley Borough Council, where rates were down 1.24 percentage points to 24.87% and Adur District Council, down 0.69 percentage points to 32.56%. But there were encouraging signs at Lewes District Council, where rates were up 2.66 percentage points to 24.98%. The national average for domestic recycling is 44%.

The annual recycling statistics, released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, have been analysed by recycling and resource management company Sita UK.

David Palmer-Jones, Sita chief executive, said councils needed to improve communications and infrastructure to drive up rates. He said: “Despite a small annual increase in England’s household recycling rate, the pace of improvement is still far off that required to place the UK back on a greener path to resource security.

“Active leadership and a policy change is needed at national government level to put the country’s recycling performance back on a faster upward trend.”

Brighton and Hove City Council’s recycling rate is down one percentage point on the previous year – despite the introduction of hundreds of communal recycling bins. The kerbside containers were supposed to make it easier for people to go green – but the opposite appears to be the case.

A council spokesman said: “To increase further the quantity recycled we have now rolled out communal recycling bins to cover another 32,000 homes. “We have also introduced an incentive scheme which means community groups will benefit from the efforts of residents to increase recycling rates.

“People have busy lives and don’t always know what they can recycle, how to do it or where it goes. We’ve been talking to residents about what stops them recycling and are developing a campaign to support them.”

Ten of the 13 councils in Sussex fell below the national average. The three above are Wealden District Council 46.92% (up 3.02 percentage points), Horsham District Council 45.17% (down 7.28 percentage points) and Rother District Council 44.41% (down 0.59 percentage points). The EU has set a target of 50% of all household waste to be recycled by 2020.