Hackney rubbished for its recycling changes

cistern on footpath in Kingsland Road, Dalston © david.altheer@gmail.com

HACKNEY’S recycling is rubbish. A report says the council has been wasting money by changing schemes.

Hackney issued green plastic boxes for recycling then replaced them with bigger green plastic boxes, says Wasted Opportunities by the Green Alliance, which describes itself as an environmental think tank.

Later the council removed the boxes and told residents to use green sacks instead.

Council tax could be reduced by £61 a household annually if collection systems were improved and recyclable plastics, electronics and food were not sent to landfill, claimed  the report.

It said that in Germany, for example, all bins were the same: high-volume purchasing made the unit cost cheap. In the UK local authorities seldom co-operated to buy bins and many used different bin colours.

Wasted Opportunities co-author Dustin Benton said that many people were confused by the frequent  changes to recycling policies.

The failure to co-ordinate recycling was partly responsible for slow progress in improving recycling rates. They rose by well under one percentage point to 43.2 per cent in England between 2012 and 2013.

Hackney recycling rates are even lower. In spring this year the council realised that a substitute scheme introduced last year 2013 to increase participation in recycling had hardly shifted from 25 per cent since 2009, making the likelihood of its rising to a target 34 per cent by 2020 seem remote.

In April neighbourhoods councillor Feryal Demirci said that a council participation survey would enable Hackney “to encourage people to waste less and recycle more”.

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* Picture at top: this cistern on a footpath in Kingsland Road, Dalston, is perhaps taking recycling too far or at least making it too public.

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