Independent Councillor Urges Recycle Rethink

Government stats show on 20% of household waste recycled

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Government figures show that Wandsworth was the among the worst London local authorities when it came to recycling rates last year, after three years of performance getting worse year-or-year. Just 20% of household waste was recycled, putting the Borough in 31st place out of 33. All of the top nine authorities in the capital recycled at least double this proportion.

Yet large numbers of residents who live on private developments in the Borough have no access to recycling facilities. When Councillor Malcolm Grimston, Leader of the Independent Group on Wandsworth Council, raised this issue with regard to over 200 properties on Wimbledon Park Side in his West Hill Ward, it became clear that the Council has no active programme to work with managing agents to create such facilities.

“The residents I have spoken to are all very keen to get recycling like the rest of us. They tend to display a mixture of confusion and anger over this failure of the Council to capitalise on that enthusiasm. One of the areas in question – Selhurst Close, with nearly 150 homes – even has its own purpose-built recycling store but hardly anyone knows about it. When I brought the subject up I was told that the Council did not even know who the managing agents were, let alone had they had discussions about improving things.

“The environmental case for recycling is strong – probably the second-best option for dealing with waste that we can’t reuse, though of course best of all is not to produce waste in the first place. And if failing to recycle results in more waste going to landfill it is extremely expensive. Yet here are hundreds of Wandsworth residents in one road alone keen to recycle and the Council has no systematic programme of working with managing agents to give them that chance. If Merton can manage 39% then we should be doing much better.”

Councillor Grimston called on the Council to ask waste management officers to implement an active programme of identifying opportunities to work with private housing developments. “This is one of those cases where a little input from the Council could surely unlock our residents’ passion for the environment and save us all a small fortune at the same time.”

As the Independents have been refused any seats on the Council’s Scrutiny Committees Councillor Grimston is to raise the issue through a question at the Council meeting on Wednesday July 8.

July 6, 2015