Household recycling rates

MQT on 2019-01-17
Session date: 
January 17, 2019
Question By: 
Caroline Russell
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


New data released by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) showed that the average annual household recycling rate for London in 2017-18 is 33.1 per cent, an increase of just 0.1 per cent on the previous year, with 15 London boroughs recording falls.

Household recycling rate 2016/17 2017/18 % change
Hillingdon LB 43.4% 40.0% -3.4%
Redbridge LB 26.7% 23.9% -2.8%
Haringey LB 35.7% 32.9% -2.8%
Islington LB 31.6% 29.5% -2.1%
Ealing LB 50.7% 48.8% -1.9%
Waltham Forest LB 34.4% 32.5% -1.9%
Enfield LB 37.2% 35.9% -1.3%
Tower Hamlets LB 27.6% 26.4% -1.2%
Croydon LB 38.6% 37.9% -0.7%
Bexley LB 52.7% 52.1% -0.6%
Richmond upon Thames LB 42.4% 41.9% -0.5%
Barnet LB 37.4% 36.9% -0.5%
Hounslow LB 30.1% 29.8% -0.3%
Havering LB 37.3% 37.0% -0.3%
Barking and Dagenham LB 25.3% 25.0% -0.3%

What are the implications of this for achieving your household recycling target?


Household recycling rates

Household recycling rates

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Despite the increase being small, London was one of only three regions in England to achieve an increase in their household recycling rate in 2017/18, against a national 0.5 per cent drop.

This highlights the need to implement the actions in my strategy including the collection of six main dry recyclables (glass, cans, paper, card, plastic bottles and mixed rigid plastics) from all properties and weekly separate food waste from properties with kerbside recycling if we are to increase London’s recycling rates. My officers are regularly monitoring and reviewing borough waste contracts to ensure they comply with the requirements in the London Environment Strategy, and they are also working with the London Waste and Recycling Board to support to boroughs to produce Reduction and Recycling Plans which will set out how they will achieve these requirements.

However, the low recycling rates also highlight the need for national action, including much-needed funding for recycling infrastructure. I have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs setting out that London urgently requires an additional £100 million in funding to increase our recycling performance. 

Please also see my response to Mayor's Question 2019/0307.