The government thinks that figure should rise to 25% by 2005 and 33% by 2015. Even then we'd still be 17% behind Germany and Austria's current level.
You can recycle mobile phones and computers as well as the more traditional recyclable materials like glass and cardboard.
European Union say we must do better
Some of our rubbish is burnt in big furnaces, but up to 80% is buried in special places around the country called landfill sites.
But the European Union say we have to reduce the amount of rubbish we bury in landfill sites or they will fine Britain lots of money.