You might be forgiven for thinking London has its recycling ducks in a row. After all, it’s already close to hopelessly overcrowded, with an average 14,670 people crammed into every square mile. Therefore it makes sense to minimise land filling wherever possible.
However, the London Green Party has discovered a postcode lottery rules the roost in the greater city. If you want to recycle your used bicycle tyres, for example you need to choose your borough council carefully
How the Green Party Caught the 34 Borough Councils Out
The London Green Party tested each Borough Council website with a simple proposition. “Do you recycle clean aluminium foil, crisp packets, tetra pack cartons, black plastic food containers, whole ball point pens, and plastic buckets” it asked?
None of the Councils’ listed all those seven items in common use. Therefore, we support the survey’s writer’s call on Sadiq Khan to ‘clean up his act’. After all, the city hosts countless conferences seeking ‘a better world’ and it should set an example.
We Must Listen to Both Sides of the Argument
The Adam Smith Institute is a U.K lobby group that takes its name from the Scottish moral philosopher and classical economist. It advocates a free market and classic liberal ideas, and inspired Maggie Thatcher’s privatisation program.
The institute responded to the London Green Party survey by asking “Why not just stop trying to do impossible things?” It said we can’t recycle everything correctly. Therefore, there’s a line in the sand beyond which we should not even try.
We’re not so sure about that opinion though. If some London Borough Councils can recycle plastic buckets, why can’t the others? Why can’t those that can, provide a service to those that cannot? Are we missing something, or is this down to partisan politics, perhaps.
Drilling Down Into Unexpected Things the Survey Found
UK surveys always seem to unearth unusual facts. No wonder some people still speak of Balmy Britain, even though much of the rest of the world admires us. Here are some juicy details BBC News unearthed:
1… Bexley recycles bicycle tyres but Brent refuses to do so
2… Hammersmith will reject your foil while Hackney welcomes it
A London Green Party member was quite outspoken when she saw the survey results. It’s no wonder London’s pile of waste keeps stacking up, she said when Borough Councils don’t tell residents what they can recycle, where they can and in what condition.
The website survey found only 12 of the 32 Borough Councils recycled plastic buckets. However, they did better with tetra pack cartons where 26 moved up the league. 19 let the side down when it came to bicycle tyres. But 27 scored goals with clean aluminium foil, with 17 adding black plastic food container points.
Barnet, Bexley, Kingston upon Thames and Waltham Forest topped the charts by being able to recycle five out of the seven items. Not one London local authority could process a whole ballpoint pen or crisp packet. But the story gets worse …
Havering Borough Council website did not mention recycling any of the seven items. Kensington, Chelsea, and Enfield, could only recycle tetra packs. Balmy Britain indeed, when we think of citizens sorting their waste diligently, for so much of it to be consumed by greenhouse gas-emitting incinerators
It’s Time We Connected the Recycling Circle in London
Manufacturers try their best to make the affordable recyclable items consumers demand, and package them responsibly. Borough Councils are supposed to create clean safe enjoinments where their residents can prosper. We thought that was what London Borough Councils were supposed to be doing, but that’s apparently not the case.