Regis Road Reuse and Recycling Centre
Published date: 23 June 2023

Record rates at north London recycling centres

More than three quarters of all unwanted items taken to north London’s reuse and recycling centres (RRCs) last year were successfully saved from the bin – the highest rate ever recorded.

North London Waste Authority’s annual report shows that 33,123 tonnes of material were collected across the seven sites it manages in 2022-23. Of this, 76.1% was reused, recycled or composted – a 2.3% increase on last year’s figure. The seven RRC sites managed by NLWA form the largest single network of RRC sites in London.

It comes as the authority continues to expand the range of materials collected at its RRCs, with 84,589 mattresses recycled in 2022-23. NLWA is also the only authority in the UK to provide a recycling option for polystyrene, which is a notoriously difficult material, in association with the British Plastic Federation.

The annual report, which was approved at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday (Thursday 22 June), shows overall household waste and recycling volumes reduced last year. This is believed to be due to residents returning to workplaces in greater numbers and changes to shopping habits impacted by the cost of living crisis.

However, high market energy prices meant the energy from waste facility in Edmonton generated exceptional income last year. This allowed NLWA to approve windfall payments of £14.95million for its constituent boroughs. 

Cllr Clyde Loakes, NLWA Chair, said: “We’re committed to getting rid of waste in the most environmentally sustainable way possible whilst providing the best value for money for taxpayers. This means we need to be innovative and continue to drive the transition to a circular economy, as set out in our comprehensive Waste Prevention Plan.

“I’m proud of the extensive range of services we offer - including new trials for hard plastics recycling and free reusable DIY materials for residents - and the commitment of most north Londoners to do the right thing for our planet.

“However, the need for legislative action is urgent if we truly want to tackle the climate emergency and preserve resources for future generations. That’s why we will continue to call on the government to introduce compulsory recycling, stop unnecessary packaging, ban single-use plastics and properly fund local authorities.”

The Waste Prevention Plan, which was approved by NLWA members last year and put into action, includes new recycling streams, the production of education material, initiatives to reduce waste and support for community groups through an expanded £250,000 North London Community Fund.