Council says: ‘Find out what Merton waste service changes will mean for you’

Merton Council is inviting residents and other stakeholders to an open day at the Civic Centre on Wednesday 11 February from 12 noon until 7pm in advance of changes that will be made to Merton’s waste collection service.

The open day being held in the committee rooms on the first floor of the Civic Centre will give residents the opportunity to find out more about the forthcoming changes to waste and recycling collection dates. Council staff will be on hand to offer help and advice about the council’s waste and recycling services and there will be information leaflets for visitors to take away with them.

Residents will be able to work a model mini recycling facility. They will have the chance to turn the conveyor belt and see up close the hand-held magnets and vacuums used to separate the rubbish, enabling them to better understand the process of what happens to their recyclable materials after they put them out for collection.

Representatives from the borough’s recycling company, Viridor, will be there to answer questions. They will also be showing a film of the recycling process as it happens at one of their sites.

Sustainable Merton will exhibit information about minimising waste and using ‘green’ transport. They will also talk to residents about local initiatives such as the allotment food project and offer visitors the opportunity to plant herbs and take them home. National not-for-profit organisation, WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), will be available to talk about the benefits of home composting, offering cut-price compost bins.

The council will be running a range of competitions at the open day which will highlight the wide variety of items that can be made from recycled materials. Visitors will be in with a chance of winning prizes including energy-saving wind-up torches, bio-degradable pens and pencil cases made out of recycled tyres. Craft activities will be laid on for children.

Changes to the council’s waste collection service will come into effect from Monday 23 February. From this day the waste collection teams will be given colour-coded zones in which to work. The new system will mean that recycling is easier for residents as they will be able to mix all their recyclable materials together in their recycling boxes. This change should help further increase Merton’s recycling rate, which at 30% (18,900 Tonnes per year), currently exceeds government targets. However, to meet year-on-year targets set by central government and the EU, Merton must more than double its recycling rate to around 42,000 tonnes of household waste per year by 2020. In addition to this, the zonal changes will increase efficiency and flexibility as all the council’s waste collection and street cleansing resources will be deployed to one of five zones each day.

Merton Council cabinet member for the environment Councillor David Simpson said: ‘I really recommend residents to come along and find out for themselves how the changes will affect them and to experience at first hand how recycling is done. Now that residents can mix their recyclable materials, we are expecting to see increased recycling rates in the borough.’

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:
1. Collection days:
Most people’s rubbish collection days will change as a result of the new system. Each area of the borough will be given a colour-coded zone. The days will be as follows:
– Monday: Wimbledon/areas of Raynes Park and West Barnes.
– Tuesday: Morden/Merton Park/areas of Raynes Park and West Barnes
– Wednesday: Morden/St Hellier
– Thursday: Colliers Wood/South Wimbledon
– Friday: Mitcham/Pollards Hill

2. WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) was established as a not-for-profit company in 2000. It is backed by government funding from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. WRAP helps individuals, businesses and local authorities to reduce waste and recycle more, making better use of resources and helping to tackle climate change.