Parks in Tower Hamlets should be blooming in a particularly special way this Spring, thanks to 15 tonnes of compost recycled from local household and garden rubbish being spread across the borough’s flower beds.The environmentally-friendly waste has been collected at the council’s recycling centre at Northumberland Wharf, and then taken by contractors Veolia to its recycling site at Rainham in Essex. It took around 12 weeks to transform the waste into high quality compost, before being used in the borough’s parks.
Councillor Abdal Ullah, Lead Member for Cleaner, Safer, Greener at Tower Hamlets Council, said: “We’re always encouraging residents to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste, and it’s fantastic to see this hard work has paid off. By taking things like grass clippings and flower cuttings to Northumberland Wharf, residents have helped to provide good quality compost for the borough’s parks.”
But figures show that too few local people are supporting recycling. Food waste accounts for half of the weight of all household rubbish in Tower Hamlets, yet according to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the borough achieved a household recycling rate of just 19.3% for 2008/9, compared to the national average of 37.6%.
In Victoria Park, EastLondonLines spoke to local people about their views on recycling. Amy Ward, 26, from Tower Hamlets, perhaps captures the majority feeling: “I really should recycle but I just don’t, I usually find I’m too busy during the week. The idea of keeping my rotting food waste in my flat is a bit too much to think about as well!”
Karl Taylor, 20, of Tower Hamlets agrees: “I’m a student. Me and my housemates try to recycle a bit, but definitely not leftover meals or anything like that. I’m all for doing my bit though.”
Simon Openshaw, 42, of Lewisham, said: “I work in Tower Hamlets, and it’ll be nice to see the flowers in bloom on my way to work. My wife always tries to recycle what we can and tries to get me to help, but I usually leave it all to her. It is important – more people should recycle really.”
The Reuse and Recycling Centre at Northumberland Wharf is a disposal point providing residents with the facility to recycle a wide range of materials or drop off waste.
Items that can be taken to reuse or recycle range from aluminum foil, books, cans, cardboard and clothes to green garden waste, textiles, white goods, wood and timber.
The Centre is located on Yabsley Street, close to Blackwall DLR station.