Despite a steady increase in recycling in each of the last 10 years, the city is still well behind other council areas and is almost half the Scottish average.
Since 2001 Glasgow's household recycling rate has increased from 3.6% to 22.5%.
Then, five areas had lower rates than the city, but in the last decade all councils have made progress – yet Glasgow is now the lowest and the only authority still below 25%.
The biggest increase in Scotland over the decade was seen in Fife, which went from being the lowest at 1.9% to 49.4%, the third highest. Glasgow's increase was 18.9%, and the biggest single year rise was 4.6%.
The Scottish Government has set targets of 40% for all recycling and wants to reduce waste further in the next 10 years.
Glasgow's overall figure, including municipal and building waste, is higher than the household rate.
The city council says it expects to see the figure rise considerably in the coming years as it hopes new bin collecting measures will change recycling habits, while a new waste management plant will allow better sorting and separating to take place.
Scotland's other large cities are also among the lowest recyclers, with Edinburgh on 29.5%, Dundee 30.3% and Aberdeen 30.9%.
A higher number of flats and tenement properties has historically made it difficult to get more recycling facilities available in cities and also collected, while Glasgow has the most flatted homes.
But Glasgow City Council is urging people to recycle as much as possible.
Jim Coleman, the council's spokesman for land and environmental services, said: "Recycling has always been a challenge for Glasgow, largely due to the nature of its housing stock.
"However, we have dramatically increased the number of recycling collections in the city with the introduction of managed weekly collections.
"We have also increased the range of materials we collect and urge people to make as much use of those facilities as they can.
"The development of new residual waste treatment services in the next few years will further boost the amount we recycle and end the city's reliance on landfill."
Waste firm Viridor plans to build a £154million Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre at Polmadie. The huge "energy-from-waste" facility will process up to 200,000 tonnes of domestic rubbish each year.
Despite opposition from SNP and Green Party councillors, the council gave the site the go-ahead in December, with plans to open by 2015.
Recycling bosses say the 25-year contract will save the city £254m and the equivalent of 28,000 tonnes of CO² every year.
It will provide enough energy to power the equivalent of 20,000 households
The Scottish Government's Safeguarding Scotland's Resources consultation, published in June, is proposing targets to cut Scotland's total waste from households and businesses by 5% by 2015 and 15% by 2025.
Scottish householders are estimated to currently produce more than 2.8m tonnes of waste every year. Reducing waste by 15% is the equivalent of cutting out more than 6.7million wheelie bins full of rubbish.
Environmentalists welcome targets but say Scotland needs to go further. They say more action is needed to improve recycling rates and to reduce waste.
WWF Scotland has called for tougher measures to force people to change their habits and reduce waste and recycle more.
It wants to see greater separation to allow collection of separate materials and for fines to be introduced for households that fail to use the correct bins for specific recyclable materials.
Dan Barlow, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: "In Scotland we use resources as if we had nearly three planets and our ever-growing demand for materials is putting huge pressure on the planet's biodiversity and threatening our future security.
"Government waste reduction targets will help drive action but, as proposed, these fall far short of the level of ambition required if we are to establish a truly resource efficient economy."