Croydon top East London Borough for recyling

Croydon comes top for recycling. Pic: epSos.de

Croydon comes top for recycling. Pic: epSos.de

Croydon has dramatically improved its recycling rates in recent years and is now one of the top London boroughs for the amount of recycled household waste, according to recent statistics.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published the figures which revealed Croydon Council, which recycles 44 per cent of the waste it collects from households, is well above the London average of 34 per cent.

In just six years, Croydon has climbed from 29th out of the 33 London boroughs to sixth.

Councillor Phil Thomas, cabinet member for Highways and Environmental Services in Croydon, said: “This is great news and a genuine team effort.”

“We couldn’t have achieved such an excellent result without dedicated council officers, a committed workforce at [the environmental waste group] Veolia and, of course, the efforts of the many, many local people who take a few minutes each day to ensure they sort out their waste to help us keep valuable reusable resources out of landfill.”

Croydon is also ahead of the other EastLondonLines boroughs, with Lewisham recycling 20 per cent of household waste, Tower Hamlets 24 per cent, and Hackney 27 per cent. These were all placed in the bottom half of London’s boroughs, all being well below the London average.

Councillor Feryai Demirci, cabinet member for Neighbourhoods in Hackney, cited specific challenges in the borough as the reasons behind their low recycling rate, such as dense population, large amounts of social housing, and flats above shops on high streets.

Chart: Dan McCarthy

Chart: Dan McCarthy

“One result of this is that many properties do not have space for several large containers for separate recycling. So this year we have improved our services to make them as comprehensive and easy to use as possible.”

Demirci added that Croydon has moved from box collection to sack collection, and has aligned the recycling day with waste pick-up day in an effort to make recycling easier for their residents.

Neither Tower Hamlets nor Lewisham chose to respond when asked for comment.

The London Assembly’s Environmental Committee heard this week that London, as a whole, recycles less household waste than many other UK and European cities, including Bristol, Greater Manchester and Leeds.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has set a target for the city to recycle 40 per cent of its waste by 2015 and 60 per cent by 2031.

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