9 September 2010

Boosting Recycling in Southwark

In October 2010 your newly elected Labour Administration in Southwark will start to deliver on our manifesto commitment to expand the variety of materials that can be recycled in order to boost the recycling rate in the borough. One of the major failings of the Lib Dem-Tory Administration which we have replaced was their refusal to prioritise recycling - leave Southwark with the 6th worst recycling rate in the country. Labour is determined to change this.

In October, parts of six wards, including Peckham Rye, will take part in a six month pilot. The most significant change will be the introduction of weekly food and garden waste collections. As part of the pilot you will be supplied with compostable bags which will allow you to collect all food waste. Food waste can then be put into your brown garden waste bin. The council will then collect your food and garden waste each week. If you don’t have a brown bin, the council will supply you with one, in a size suitable for the space available.

The council will continue to collect blue box recycling on a weekly basis, but you won't need to separate the items. To help you to recycle more you can also order an extra blue box.

This new system will enable residents of Peckham Rye to recycle more than two thirds of waste, all of which will be removed on a weekly basis. The remaining, currently non-recyclable waste, will be picked up once every other week. Full details of the scheme are contained in a letter sent to all those residents who will be part of the pilot - I got mine this week!

Obviously this is just a pilot scheme at this stage but it is hoped that, based on the results, it will form the basis of a scheme that will be rolled out across the whole borough in the future. I think we will find that some things work well but equally I know it will be a challenge for all residents to recycle two thirds of their waste. However, I think the pilot is a good way to test what's possible.

If you'd like to know more about the pilot, take a look at this webpage.


  1. Thanks Gavin - bit clearer than the letter. Having bought three bins for the kitchen to match 3 the three types of recycling waste I'm a bit peeved I no longer need them. Or Do I ? what happens at the end of the pilot will we revert? Will there be an immediate change to to new system for the whole borough?

  2. Hi Howard - good question!

    As you know Labour has committed to boosting recycling so if the pilot goes well (i.e. recycling increases) it will be our intention to roll it out across the borough. However, we equally want to make sure that this scheme is genuinely a pilot and if it throws up problems or if it doesn't work then what is rolled out will need to be something different. We're meeting with Cllr Barrie Hargrove (Cabinet member for Recycling) next week and will question him further about what might happen next. Hope that helps!


  3. Gavin,
    What are your plans to boost the recycling rate in the area?
    What message do you have to the community so that they are able to support you?
    How confident are you that it will work?
    cheers - andy