Recycling rates in Hackney have remained stagnant despite the launch of a new recycling scheme last year aimed at increasing participation.
Data from the Hackney Council shows that recycling rates have hovered around 25 per cent since the middle of 2009.
Last year Hackney introduced a ‘commingling’ recycling system that allows residents to mix all their dry goods in green sacks instead of having to sort them into boxes.
It was predicted that because of increased ease of recycling, that this scheme would help to increase Hackney’s recycling rate to 34 per cent by 2020.
Though the council estimates that there will be a 1 per cent increase in recycling participation between 2013 and 2014, officials are still trying to find reasons for the overall lack of increase.
Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We are currently completing a participation survey so we can find out about the levels of recycling in different parts of the borough. We will use this information to target communications to encourage people to waste less and recycle more.”
Hackney Council think that even though the recycling rate has not increased in the past year, the particiation rate would have been even less if ‘commingling’ was not introduced.
A representative for the council said: “The modelling we did when we looked at changing the collection method suggested that if we had kept the boxes our recycling rate would have gone down.”
Councillor Demirci added even though recycling is more difficult in urban areas with a high density of population, that it is not only in these areas that recycling rates are slowing, saying it is a trend throughout the country: “In England the annual rate of increase in recycling has slowed to 0.2 per cent over the past three years.”
The council are currently working with areas with low rates of recycling participation to help bring an increased “awareness and understanding of recycling”, and to make it easier for residents to recycle by providing more bins in convenient areas.
A spokesperson for the council said: “We are always willing to hear about ideas people might have to help us decrease the amount of rubbish in Hackney and increase the amount of recycling. We need residents and businesses to help us to provide a cleaner and greener future for Hackney.”
By Amanda Slavinsky