Islington recycling rates lag behind city average
Council urged to make system clearer for residents
31 January, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson
Cllr Caroline Russell: ‘It’s no wonder Islington is struggling to increase its recycling rate when it’s so difficult to recycle such everyday items’
ENVIRONMENT activists have branded the council’s recycling strategy as “not good enough” as figures show the borough is lagging behind other parts of the capital.
Research by the Green Party group at the London Assembly show the average household recycling rate for the whole of London last year was 33.4 per cent, an increase of just 0.3 per cent from the previous year.
But Islington’s recycling rate for the same period was 29 per cent – down 0.5 per cent.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has set a city-wide recycling target of 50 per cent, which he wants to be achieved by 2025.
Helena Farstead, who campaigns for groups such as Islington Clean Air Parents, Fossil Free Islington and Extinction Rebellion, said the council needed to do more to show what can be recycled.
“There’s something that is just not reaching people,” she said.
“If recycling is too hard then people won’t do it, and if the instructions about what can be recycled are not clear enough then people will get it wrong. You need clear and simple information, and Islington Council are not good at this.”
Further research by Green Party councillor Caroline Russell revealed the council was not able to recycle a number of common household items, including crisp packets, ball point pens and Tetrapak containers.
She said: “It’s no wonder Islington is struggling to increase its recycling rate when it’s so difficult to recycle such everyday items.
“The Mayor wants boroughs to set their own recycling targets for 2022 and 2025, but we’ve yet to see what Islington has come up with as the Mayor hasn’t signed off their plans.”
A spokesman for Islington council said: “We have a detailed four-year plan to reduce waste and increase recycling, and provide residents with comprehensive, weekly recycling collections for a wide range of materials, over and above the requirements set out by the Mayor of London.
“All residents can recycle a wide range of household packaging, paper, glass, tins, plastic and cartons, and most residents can also recycle their food waste and garden waste.
He added: “We are also taking specific action to make it easier for those living in apartments and flats to recycle more.
“Our redesigned street recycling bins now make recycling more visible, so everyone can also be green while out and about.”