London borough first to offer recycling service

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The Independent Online
A LONDON local authority is to be the first in the country to offer all its residents and businesses a recycling service, in a move designed to meet the Government's target that a quarter of household waste should be recycled by the end of the century, writes Ian MacKinnon.

Kensington and Chelsea intends to have the scheme operational by next April. It will save pounds 250,000 on the pounds 6m annual waste disposal contract. Pilot schemes have been running in parts of the borough over the last 12 months in which almost two-thirds of residents took part, recycling about 14 per cent of household waste.

Officials believe that with a long-term education and an advertising programme to convince business and the 127,000 residents of the benefits of recycling, it will be possible to push the amount of material recycled towards the Government's target laid out in the Environment Protection Act.

The borough believes that the plan is unique in that it offers people the chance to take part if they desire, with minimal effort, as their recyclable waste will be lifted with their normal refuse on one of the two weekly collections.

Residents will be asked to put ordinary refuse into black plastic bin bags and recyclable glass, plastic, rags, paper and cans into green bags. The authority does not supply green or black bags, but recyclable material will be collected initially in supermarket carrier bags.

Refuse will be collected by the authority's waste disposal contractors, BFI Wastecare, in specially-designed 'split-back' lorries, with one side for normal waste and the other for recycable material. As the scheme grows in popularity, it will be possible to vary the proportion of normal to recyclable waste in the loads.

Recyclable waste, which it is estimated will account for 20,000 tonnes of the borough's 80,000 tonnes annually, will be taken to a new separation and compaction plant built by Drinkwater Sabey at Cremorne Wharf, on the banks of the Thames. The borough will receive pounds 15.40 for each tonne of recycled material which will be transferred to another plant by road.