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£1 million saved in past year from recycling and waste changes

The percentage of people who recycle regularly has rocketed over the last year resulting in major financial savings for the borough, Lambeth Council has revealed.

An average of 81 per cent of people now regularly put out orange recycling sacks for collection each week, compared to 44 per cent a year ago. On some rounds 98 per cent of residents now regularly recycle.

It is one year since Lambeth introduced its new waste strategy which made a number of changes to waste and recycling services, including making recycling compulsory. The changes were brought in to deal with the rising costs of waste disposal and the urgent need to reduce the amount of waste we all throw away.

Waste crews are now collecting an extra 26 tonnes of recyclable materials per week from Lambeth households, whilst the amount of refuse collected on the same rounds has fallen by an average of 89 tonnes per week as more people get into the recycling habit.

The council’s target was to save £500,000 in the first year, but thanks to residents that saving has been doubled to over £1 million.  The majority of the savings have been achieved by residents reducing the amount of waste they are throwing away and diverting more waste to being recycled instead, thereby avoiding expensive waste disposal costs.

Councillor Lorna Campbell, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our residents for all the efforts they have made to make our first year such an overwhelming success. By making small changes to the way we deal with our waste and increasing the amount we recycle, we can make a big difference and not only save money but help the environment, too.”

Other changes introduced in the last year have included greater encouragement for people to ‘home compost’ and the introduction of subscription garden waste collections, the extension of the amount of items people can recycle, such as plastic pots, tubs and trays, and an increase in the number of on-street recycling banks.

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