More than 25% of England's waste is being recycled or composted and is exceeding targets, say ministers.
Much of England's waste can be recycled, the government says
Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) results showed households in England recycled 27% of their waste during 2005/06.
This was 4% more than in the previous year, officials said.
Local Environment Quality Minister Ben Bradshaw welcomed the news: "This is a terrific achievement by the public and local authorities."
He said: "Recycling makes a vital contribution to tackling climate change and keeping council tax down."
ENGLAND RECYCLING FACTS
In 2004/5, English households produced 25.7m tonnes of waste - half thought to be kitchen or paper-based waste
Every person in England produces seven times their own waste each year
About 20% of waste in bins is packaging
Plastics, textiles, cans, paper, wood, kitchen waste, garden waste, batteries, glass and card can be recycled
"We have nearly quadrupled recycling since 1997. But we need to double it again as part of our battle against dangerous climate change and to hit landfill diversion targets."
He said local authorities had done a good job, but there was still a massive difference between the best and worst.
"The more biodegradable municipal waste that is diverted from landfill and recycled, the quicker we will meet our 2010 target to reduce biodegradable municipal waste to 11.2m tonnes, 75% of that produced in 1995," he said.
Businesses, government and individuals all have a responsibility to create less waste and recycle more for the sake of our environment and future generations," he said.
Britain sends around 75% of its waste to landfill - more than any other EU member state except Greece.
Defra gave local authorities £336m between 2002/3 and 2005/6 to encourage recycling and composting.
But a 23% rise in the recycling of household waste has been outweighed by an increase in waste produced.