Southwark renews hold on best recycling rates in Inner London

Southwark Residents, Council and Veolia combine to increase recycling and maintain highest Inner London rate

A DEFRA report, released 11 December, shows that a considerable commitment from the people who live in the borough, Southwark Council, Veolia and Veolia’s state of the art recycling facility, have together increased recycling, and maintained Southwark’s title, once again.

Veolia Southwark’s recycling centre is equipped with the latest technology and is one of the best in the country. This enables the council to remove as many recyclable materials as possible from household waste.


When all possible recyclables have been removed from Southwark’s waste, the remainder goes on to be turned into fuel at a specially modified incinerator, which generates electricity and heat. The electricity is fed into the national grid and the heat is delivered to 2,800 neighbouring council homes, through an innovative network of pipes, providing heating and hot water, reducing the use of fossil fuels and keeping carbon impacts low. All of this means that Southwark sends less than two per cent of its waste to landfill.

Cllr Richard Livingstone, Cabinet Member for environment, transport management and air quality, said: "This achievement is testament to the hard work of the council, Veolia and most importantly our residents. I would like to congratulate everyone involved and encourage even more people to start separating, cleaning and putting out their recyclables for collection."

Veolia and Southwark Council are constantly working to drive up recycling and its longstanding partnership has enabled long-term investment in the best quality facilities, to recycle and recover as much as possible, while keeping costs down.


Achieving the highest recycling rates in Inner London is a huge achievement for an area with such a high percentage of high rise homes. High rises present much more of a challenge to recycling than street level properties and the council collects from some of the highest residential tower blocks in the whole of London, with about three-quarters of all Southwark homes being flats.