Boroughs with worst recycling records - power of direction

MQT on 2017-12-14
Session date: 
December 14, 2017
Question By: 
Caroline Russell
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs' (DEFRA) 2015/16 annual recycling data, 13 London boroughs recycle less than 30 per cent of collected household waste. Four of these recycle less than 20 per cent. Will you consider using your powers of direction against the boroughs with the worst recycling rates that make no significant efforts to meet your recycling targets?


Answer for Boroughs with worst recycling records - power of direction

Answer for Boroughs with worst recycling records - power of direction

Answered By: 
The Mayor

London's 2016/17 household recycling rate improved by 1 per cent to 33 per cent, the first year that London has experienced an increase since 2011. Ealing and Bexley are both recycling more than 50 percent which is the national target for 2020. The increase is welcome news but London's performance is woeful and still lags behind the rest of the country and while there are reasons for this - such as the high proportion of Londoners living in flats and the city's transient population - clearly there is much more work to do. I am determined that boroughs raise recycling rates, to help reach the London-wide target of recycling 65 percent of London's waste by 2030 and sending zero recyclable waste to landfill by 2026.


In my draft London Environment Strategy (LES) I have set a minimum level of service for every borough to collect the six main dry recyclables and food, including from flats where practicable to do so. Through the London Waste and Recycling Board I am also providing technical assistance and up to £9m (from 2017 to 2020) to support London's waste authorities to provide better recycling services. This includes £1 million to specifically tackle recycling performance in flats.


My officers review all borough waste contracts for alignment with my waste policies and that measures are in place to drive up recycling performance. If London boroughs do not deliver on this essential policy I will have no option but to consider using my power of direction as a tool of last resort.