The increase leaves Scotland with much to do if it is to reach its target to recycle 25% of municipal waste by 2006. Statutory recycling targets for councils for 2005/06 are due to be announced shortly.
Councils also have a tough task to meet the target to reduce the amount of landfilled biodegradable municipal waste to 1.5 million tonnes by 2006. The amount rose slightly in 2003/04 from 1.78 million to 1.8 million tonnes.
Angus had the highest recycling rate at 25.1%, while Dumfries and Galloway - which recently signed a long-term contract with Shanks - was bottom with 3.8%.
Powys was the top performer with a recycling rate of 28%. Neath Port Talbot, recording 10%, had the lowest rate. Some 13 councils exceeded the national target and nine failed to achieve it.