Western Riverside Waste Authority boroughs - plunging recycling rates

MQT on 2015-01-21
Session date: 
January 21, 2015
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


With reference to your answer to my question 2014/5033 you stated that the significant falls in recycling rates among the Western Riverside Waste Authority boroughs were down to "higher than normal contamination levels" at the material recycling facility at Smugglers Way and you were "satisfied this is a short term problem that once resolved will see the Riverside boroughs' recycling rates rise again".  Clearly this is not a short term problem, and it is difficult to believe that a temporary contamination occurrence can account for the scale of the deterioration in household recycling rates. This is a problem that goes back at least to 2012 when Lambeth and Wandsworth Councils thought they could get away with publishing inflated recycling rates of 46 per cent on their websites when in fact they were both recycling 28 per cent. Since then, their recycling rates of 21 and 20.5 per cent respectively, have deteriorated significantly. Will you call in your waste advisor and chair of your London Waste and Recycling Board to resolve this matter before it deteriorates further, particularly as the chair is the constituency member for Wandsworth?


Answer for Western Riverside Waste Authority boroughs - plunging recycling rates

Answer for Western Riverside Waste Authority boroughs - plunging recycling rates

Answered By: 
The Mayor

This issue is the responsibility of Western Riverside Waste Authority (WRWA) and its constituent boroughs, which I know are seeking to address the problem. Therefore I see no reason to "call in" the London Waste and Recycling Board's (LWARB) Chair or my Environment Advisor.

However, I am aware that LWARB is working with the WRWA boroughs to better understand and address the contamination issues through LWARB's Efficiency Review Programme. LWARB funding and advice has been provided to explore revenue share opportunities from recyclables and to support communications activity with residents to reduce contamination in household recycling collections.