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Environment, Recycling

Council thanks residents for ‘fantastic’ recycling surge

  • Recycling levels up nearly 5% since introduction of compulsory recycling
  • Borough on course to save £900,000 this year

Residents in Lambeth are rallying to the recycling challenge according to the latest figures which show rates have already jumped by nearly five per cent since April.

Lambeth Council’s environment chief this week thanked residents for their “fantastic” efforts in increasing recycling in the borough, which has seen average weekly recycling rates rise since recycling was made compulsory and other changes to collections were introduced on April 4.

Cllr Lorna Campbell, Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability, said: “I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding over the past few weeks, the response from residents has been incredible and we are well on course to make the savings we need to make and exceed our targets. It’s a great start. “Many people will have already been recycling diligently for many years, so thank you to those people for their continued commitment, but thank you also to those people who have increased their own recycling since we introduced the changes in April. Collectively, everyone’s efforts are making a real difference, cutting costs and benefiting the environment.

“There have been a few cases where people have been given a warning letter for not recycling when they shouldn’t have, but these have been relatively small in number and we’ve learned some important lessons to avoid this happening again. I’m really grateful to people for their patience as these teething problems are ironed out, but overall it’s been a fantastic start.”

The council is predicting that thanks to residents’ efforts, £900,000 is set to be saved this year through reduced waste collection and disposal costs, up on the original prediction of £600,000.

Initial indicators since recycling was made compulsory on April 4 show:

  • The recycling rate for kerbside properties (ie excluding those residents in flats who use communal recycling bins) is up by an average of 4.7 per cent.
  • The council is collecting an average of 29 tonnes more recycling each week and 94 tonnes less of non-recyclable rubbish each week from kerbside properties since the changes were introduced.
  • The percentage of people recycling on a regular basis has risen from 67 per cent of all low-rise households, to over 90 per cent.
  • More than 260 households applied for composting bins from the council in April and May, compared to 77 over the same period last year. Encouraging more home composting is crucial to the council’s strategy of reducing waste.
  • 4,100 people have registered to join the council’s garden waste collection service
  • The introduction of charges for bulky waste collections, which has brought Lambeth into line with most other councils, has not resulted in any increase in fly-tipping.

Ends

Lambeth introduced a range of changes to recycling and waste collection services on April 4, including the introduction of compulsory recycling.

The council has to pay Western Riverside Waste Authority by the tonne, for every tonne Lambeth produces. In addition, each type of waste has a different cost attached to it. The cost for recyclable waste is almost half of the cost for general waste, therefore the more we can recycle as a borough the more money we can save.

For more details contact James Savours 020 7926 2559.

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