Black marks for green effort: Three local boroughs among worst in London for recycling

Man picking up waste. Pic: Gina Randall

Tower Hamlets, Hackney, and Lewisham are among the 10 worst London boroughs for recycling of household waste, while Croydon is sixth best, new figures show.

A report by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs showed that Lewisham is the 10th worst, Hackney is the ninth worst and Tower Hamlets is the third worst boroughs in the capital for household waste recycling. 

Percentage of household waste comparing year on year

Lewisham has, however, shown a marked improvement of six per cent, from 22 per cent in 2017/18 to 28 per cent in 2018/2019. 

By comparison, Hackney and Tower Hamlets have shown little progress, with Hackney increasing its recycling rate by less than one per cent, taking it up to 28 per cent. Tower Hamlets meanwhile has dropped three per cent down to 23 per cent. 

Hackney council said: “Residents have already made great progress in increasing the amount they recycle – from 1 per cent in 1998 to more than 28 per cent today, but over half the rubbish people currently throw away in Hackney could be recycled or composted. We understand that this needs to change and are committed to improving the current figures to address the climate emergency.”

Hackney council’s new Reduction & Recycling Plan was approved in June which aims to reduce overall waste and increase the recycling rate of the borough, subject to approval from the Mayor of London.

Plastic bottle caps. Pic: Bicanski

On the other hand, Croydon boasts the biggest improvement in London, and the 3rd biggest in the country.

Croydon’s recycling rate has increased nine per cent from 38 per cent in 2017/18 to 47 per cent in 2018/2019.

Stuart Collins, Cabinet Member for Clean, Green Croydon, told Eastlondonlines: “I’m delighted to see the measures we introduced a year ago are having a benefit, and our recycling rate has increased dramatically. Croydon’s increase is the third highest in the country.”
“The new bins and collection arrangements have clearly helped, but this success is testament to the efforts our residents have put in.” 

Lewisham Council and Tower Hamlets Council did not respond by the time of publication. 

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