The UK recycling rate fluctuates between 45% and 47% and has consistently failed to meet the 65% target set by the post-Brexit Resource and Waste Strategy. Understanding the issues surrounding the low recycling rate in metropolitan cities in the United Kingdom will help to overcome these recycling challenges. The review examines the current situation with regard to the recycling rate and tonnage of waste produced in the United Kingdom based on available secondary waste flow data and explores different barriers related to household recycling. Many areas giving rise to the recycling challenges have been identified, including waste policy constraints, lack of effective communication, public engagement, physical barriers, service constraints, human factors and socio-economic barriers. The literature review reveals that factors such as waste policy, communication and physical factors were the most important aspects in influencing recycling rate or output. It is concluded that a multi-dimension intervention is required, which includes a thorough review of waste policy, a more stringent enforcement, an improved communication strategy and a more integrated planning development policy to mitigate issues affecting the United Kingdom's low recycling rate or output. This approach will propel the local authorities to launch or initiate effective recycling management and to put in place the required infrastructure to facilitate effective recycling activities.