In a move to formalise the South London Waste Partnership, Merton Council has now signed the agreement to become a fully-fledged Partner.
The partnership is between Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton councils and has been set up to deal with recycling and waste disposal and to offer residents better value for money for recycling, waste treatment and disposal services. Acting as one body will lead to cost savings of millions of pounds and a more efficient and effective waste service for residents.
The individual boroughs will continue to provide their own waste and recycling collection services and work with their own residents to increase recycling rates.
Agreeing new contracts with leading waste management companies, the partnership boroughs will be able to recycle a broader range of materials including kitchen and garden waste. Looking ahead it will also be looking into converting landfill waste to energy and other state of the art technologies.
The South London Waste Partnership recognises that landfill is unsustainable as space is running out and the waste in landfill emits methane gas which contributes to climate change. It will therefore be consulting with residents over the next four years to help decide how best to minimise waste, how to decrease the amount sent to landfill and how to meet the ever-increasing government recycling targets.
Merton Council Cabinet Member for the Environment Councillor David Simpson said: “Working in partnership, the four councils will also be able to share the expertise and resources that exist across the boroughs. By 2020 we want to be looking at recycling rates of up to 50%, and will be jointly promoting tiny lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference like using reusable bags, nappies, sandwich boxes and composting organic waste.”
Merton Council Deputy Leader Councillor Samantha George said: ‘Signing up to this partnership shows Merton Council taking a proactive approach to offering its residents value for money through economies of scale and an effective waste management service.’
South London Waste Partnership chairman Councillor Derek Osbourne said: ‘These are exciting and challenging times for the partnership boroughs with big changes ahead as to how we deal with our waste and meet government demands. As a group of four working towards the same goals, we can be more efficient in how we manage waste and reinvest the cost savings the partnership will make back into the standard of waste management service we provide for our residents.’