Lambeth Council’s cabinet is to consider a range of changes to recycling and waste collection arrangements next week that are designed to help reduce the amount we all throw away.
Among the proposals under consideration are plans to introduce compulsory recycling – something that seven in 10 residents support – as well as exploring the implementation of a Recyclebank scheme on estates that would see people rewarded for recycling by being given vouchers to use on the high street.
The costs of disposing of waste nationally are rising year on year and the council will have to pay approximately £128 for every tonne of household waste it has to dispose of next year. The total cost to the council, and therefore taxpayers, of collecting and disposing of waste is around £34 million a year and is set to rise.
Cllr Lorna Campbell, Cabinet Member for Environment on Lambeth Council, said: “Reducing waste and increasing recycling is not just about helping the environment, it’s about keeping costs down too as we will all be hit in the pocket if we don’t act.
“It’s everybody’s responsibility to think more carefully about what we buy, what we throw away, and whether we can re-use it. Taking personal responsibility is what our Making a Difference campaign is all about.”
Lambeth’s Making a Difference Campaign is encouraging everyone to look at their own behaviour, take responsibility, and consider how small changes, like reducing the amount of waste produced, can make a big difference.
The measures up for consideration form part of a new Waste Strategy that aims to substantially cut down the amount the borough throws away. If agreed, they will be introduced in Spring 2011.
By making these changes it is estimated the council and council taxpayers will save around £600,000 a year, as well as increasing recycling levels to about 37 per cent, up from 27 per cent currently. It is intended to put Lambeth amongst the top boroughs in inner London for recycling.
More than seven out of 10 Lambeth residents back compulsory recycling, according to a recent survey of more than 3,000 people. It could see people issued with fines of £1,000 if they persistently refuse to recycle and ignore a number of warnings.
Compulsory recycling has already been introduced in a number of other London boroughs, and has proven successful in changing the way people think about the waste they produce and boosting recycling rates.