500,000 cup target set for expanding on-street recycling scheme

Veolia and Westminster City Council are celebrating the expansion of their on-street coffee cup recycling scheme, Good to-go with a reusable cup giveaway and an ambitious target to recycle 500,000 cups over the year ahead.

Launching as part of Recycle Week 2018, the expansion follows a successful three month trial in St James’s, Piccadilly and Leicester Square, which saw over 100,000 coffee cups that would have otherwise gone to general waste being recycled.

Veolia Street Sweepers became mobile recycling points, both separating cups they collected from the pavement and accepting cups direct from the public. Dedicated coffee cup recycling bins were also placed in on-street locations.

The scheme is now being expanded into high footfall locations including Carnaby Street and Baker Street.

Helder Branco, Senior Contract Manager for Veolia said: "Through the success of Good to-go, we’ve already given new lease of life to over 100,000 cups, but we see this as just the beginning. Cup recycling increased over the course of the trial, which was extremely encouraging and indicated Londoners’ enthusiasm to recycle more while on the go. Now through the expansion of the scheme, they can. Our target to recycle 500,000 cups during the next year is ambitious, but with the ongoing support of the public, we’re confident we can to achieve it.

“For the expansion we are asking people to help us by taking off the lid and removing any remaining liquid because this makes it much easier for our teams to collect the cups and assists in the recycling process too.”

Cllr Tim Mitchell, cabinet member for Environment and City Management, said: “Londoners’ love affair with the latte is creating a serious environmental problem, with less than one per cent of coffee cups across the capital being recycled.

“Here in Westminster as part of our plan to be a greener city we’ve set ourselves an ambitious target of recycling at least half a million more coffee cups per year.

“We’ve got coffee cup only bins in busy areas, and our army of street cleaners are ready to be handed empty coffee cups to recycle. We’re asking everyone to get on board and get recycling or even better, buy a reusable coffee cup and help us make a difference.”

The official launch will take place on Wednesday 26 September 2018 between 8:30am and 10:30am, Veolia and Westminster City Council will host a cup recycling stand in Carnaby Street, where people can recycle their used takeaway cups in exchange for a reusable cup to promote reuse and help prevent the need for single use cups.