Newham Council is trialling a new weekly recycling service to give a boost to the environment and tackle climate change.
If successful the new scheme, which is part of the Council’s Newham Climate Now campaign, could help the borough improve its recycling rates dramatically – reducing the production of tonnes of harmful CO2.
The £600,000 scheme, which will fully launch next year, is designed to tackle Newham’s historically poor recycling rate.
A pilot scheme is now running in parts of East Ham, Forest Gate, Green Street and Manor Park, where recycling collections now happen every week. The types of material which can be recycled has also been widened to include glass bottles and jars, clean foil, empty aerosols, clean plastic pots and tubs, yoghurt pots and fruit punnets.
Newham currently has the lowest recycling rate in England with 17% of the Council’s waste being recycled in 2018/19. The quality of the recycling collected is also very poor with lots of non-recyclable items being placed in the recycling bins.
Councillor James Asser, Newham’s Cabinet member for Environment, Highways and Sustainable Transport, said; “In March 2020 the Cabinet agreed a budget that included measures designed to tackle climate change and create a cleaner, greener Newham. This is the first step in reducing the impact the waste we produce has on the environment.”
“Many residents have told us they are keen to recycle more and this trial will allow the Council to identify the best approach to allow them to do this. It is vital that all residents play their part by using the service correctly for clean paper, card, tins, cans and plastic bottles. And for those in the trial areas, clean plastic pots, tubs, trays, foil, aerosols and glass.”
In the trial areas some residents will be given orange sacks to use for their recycling for the duration of the 3 month trial. This is to find out if residents find it easier to recycle more of the right items in the sacks, which can be brought inside the home, compared to the current wheelie-bin service.
The Council recognises with so many different types of packaging being produced, recycling can be confusing and often the wrong items are included accidentally. That’s why the collection crews will monitor recycled materials – and attach stickers to the bins or sacks if they contain the wrong waste. It’s hoped this direct feedback will help educate residents quickly about what can and can’t be recycled.
Following the lead of neighbouring boroughs like Waltham Forest and Barking & Dagenham crews will also leave behind recycling that is dirty, dangerous or is made up mostly of items that can’t be collected. This is to make sure the good recycling practised by most residents isn’t made too difficult to sort by the few who don’t use the service correctly.
Councillor Asser said: “Our recycling rates have been poor for many years and the Council really wants to help residents do the right thing with their waste. This scheme is designed to let them do that, and we will learn from the trial period if there are any other changes we can make to the service to make it easier and more effective.”