North London residents will benefit from substantial funding awarded to the boroughs of Camden, Hackney, Haringey and Waltham Forest to enable them to run innovative projects to tackle some of the issues impeding recycling.
The boost in funding comes after Camden, Hackney, Haringey and Waltham Forest successfully applied to the Borough Recycling Fund, a joint initiative of the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and Biffa Waste Services Ltd (Biffa) who process north London’s mixed dry recycling.
The fund was established to support new and innovative projects to help increase recycling rates across north London as well as tackle the problem of ‘recycling contamination’ when waste such as nappies, food, and textiles are mistakenly put into mixed recycling bins.
Camden will test interventions including new lids on recycling bins, which deter the dumping of large bags of non-recyclable waste; improved signage about what can and cannot be recycled and how to dispose of bulky waste; and digital technology to help Camden provide feedback to residents.
Hackney’s award will support the council’s investment in new recycling bins with reverse lids by reinforcing their correct use via leaflets, adverts and social media about what can and cannot be recycled. Hackney will also promote its food recycling service to reduce food waste as a contaminant in dry mixed recycling.
Haringey will a trial a digital campaign, targeting over 75,000 properties. The focus will be on what can and cannot go into mixed recycling bins, and that those recyclables need to be clean and empty. Haringey will translate messages into the six languages which are most spoken amongst households where English is a second language.
Waltham Forest’s project will focus on training faith and community leaders to become recycling champions, who will then be able to communicate to their congregations and community about the importance of recycling and the best ways to recycle effectively.
NLWA’s Chair, Cllr Clyde Loakes, congratulated the successful boroughs on their winning proposals: “NLWA set up the Borough Recycling Fund with our contractor Biffa to help support the Boroughs develop and trial innovative projects aimed at reducing barriers to recycling as well as help prevent the contamination of valuable recyclable materials . We were convinced by Camden, Hackney, Haringey and Waltham Forest’s proposals that their project will help in this vital endeavour.”
Cllr Loakes also urged the UK government to do much more to help reduce unnecessary waste. “Thankfully, plastic cotton buds, straws and stirrers are now banned in England. But there is a critical need to ban other single-use, non-recyclable items such as polystyrene containers, which can be easily substituted for more sustainable options. The cost to taxpayers of non-recyclable single-use items contaminating recyclable material runs into the millions.”
Biffa’s National Commercial Manager, Steve Oulds, said: “Increasing recycling rates and cutting contamination levels is the primary aim of this initiative. We are delighted to be working with NLWA to advance this cause and wish to congratulate all the boroughs on their winning proposals.”