Southwark recycling rate breaks 30% for the first time

Recycling rates in Southwark have soared in recent years as the UK gets ready to celebrate the 10th anniversary of National Recycle Week next week.

Veolia Environmental Services , the waste management partner for Southwark Council’s, has announced that recycling rates in the borough have risen continuously since 2002 and that over 30% of domestic waste is now recycled. This news comes at a time when local authorities across the UK have collected materials like card, paper, plastic and glass worth a staggering £2.4 billion.

The impressive result comes as a result of  the combined efforts of Southwark residents, Southwark Council and Veolia.

Recycling services in Southwark have been improved dramatically over the years and now include:

  • Household collections of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, cans and cartons, for all residents
  • Food and garden waste collections for street based properties
  • Banks for textiles, small electrical items and batteries located around the borough
  • A reuse and recycling centre that can accept around 30 different materials for recycling, including books, toys, fridges, televisions and even cooking oil.
  • A number of reuse schemes are also in place to prevent waste wherever possible and these include paint, furniture, bikes and tools.

Fabrice Bouchon, general manager for Veolia Environmental Services in Southwark, said: “We want to turn as much of Southwark’s waste as possible into a resource and the best way we have found to do this is to make services as easy and available as possible. However, without residents embracing services, it would all count for nothing. We have come a long way since we began our partnership with the council and we are still looking for ways to improve things for residents and for a greener future for the borough.”

Councillor Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for environment, transport and recycling said: “This is really good news for Southwark. We are now sending less waste to landfill than ever before and more materials are being recycled or treated. The uptake in our recycling rates is due to the great efforts of our residents who have done well in household recycling and their positive response to our improved recycling services.“

This year’s National Recycling week celebrations have an overarching theme of 'Recycling - at home and away' and will focus on metals, plastics, packaging, textiles and food waste.