Council launches used toy collection to combat Hackney’s waste problem

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Hackney’s recycling numbers are 16 per cent below the national average. They are now tackling this problem with a new toy recycling initiative over the festive season. Pic: Metro Centric

Hackney Council has launched a collection of pre-loved toys for sick children in a bid to help address the borough’s substantial recycling problem.

The collection will start after Christmas, on January 2, and aims to remind people to remain conscious of recycling in the Christmas season. It will continue throughout January.

It follows the success of an initiative last year, which saw over 1.5 tonnes of toys donated by residents. The toys will be distributed to children undergoing hospital treatment in the borough, through the Homerton Hope charity, the London Community Rehabilitation Company and various Children’s Centres.

The collection will be held in various venues across the borough, including the Hackney Central Library and the Stoke Newington Library. The council is interested in collecting all kinds of toys from residents, as long as they are in good condition.

Marianne Hill, Senior Nurse for Children’s Services at Homerton Hospital, said: “We are delighted to be involved with this project, and to be receiving any toys which are used in the playroom by our young patients as they recover in the hospital.”

The scheme was launched in collaboration with the Forest Recycling Project to raise recycling awareness during the festive season.

The Hackney Recycling Rewards initiative launched last year saw recycling in the borough go up by 15.8 percent. The £637,000 project was funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

However, Hackney still has quite a way to go to reach 50 per cent by 2020, a target set by The North London Waste Authority (NLWA). By reaching 28.95 percent this year, the borough is still 16.15 per cent below the national average.

And despite last year’s increase, measures need to be taken in order to have a major impact on making the borough greener. Between 2002 and 2010, the amount of recycling in the borough increased from one to 25 percent, meaning the majority of the increase happened before the initiative was launched.

Helen Clarke, a spokesperson for the council, said: “We started closing 1950s era bin chutes on housing estates earlier this year, and provided hundreds of extra bins to encourage more recycling”.

She highlights the importance of encouraging changes in behaviour. “We have waste prevention services to ensure the council leads on behaviour change projects” she said, naming free furniture re-use collection and the ‘Give or Takes’ community exchange events as examples.

Household waste is estimated to increase by 30 per cent during Christmas. On a national level, this means 1 billion Christmas cards end up in the bin every year when they could have been recycled. Roughly 2 million turkeys, over 17 million brussel sprouts and 74 million mince pies also end their journey at the bottom of a kitchen bin.


Twitter: @elinwibe

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