Italian towns and cities produced 31.1 tonnes of household rubbish in 2004, a 3.7 per cent increase on the previous year. This is according to the latest report from environment watchdogs, the Agenzia per la Protezione dell'Ambiente (environmental protection agency) and the Osservatorio nazionale rifiuti (national refuse observatory). There was an exceptionally high rise of 5.4 per cent in central Italy, compared to lower rises of 3.3 per cent in the north and 3.1 per cent in the south. Recycling also has a mixed record 7.1 million tonnes of urban refuse, 22.7 per cent of the total, were salvaged, only 1.6 per cent up on 2003. Northern Italy hit its target and recycled over 35 per cent of its household waste, while central Italy (18.3 per cent) and southern Italy (8.1 per cent) both failed to make the grade. Despite improved figures for Rome, the Lazio regions recovery rate of just 11 per cent rank it (alongside Sicily and Puglia) as one of Italys worst recyclers.