Merton’s recycling rate at record level

Merton Council is celebrating Recycle Week with new data showing that recycling rates in the borough are at record levels, following the introduction of a new recycling and rubbish collection service.

The latest data shows that Merton is striving to achieve its stretched recycling target of 48%. In May, the recycling rate increased to a record 47%. This puts Merton on track to make it into the top quartile of all 33 London local authorities for recycling by the end of the year.

A key aim of the new collection service, which introduced alternate weekly collections and wheelie bins, was to increase the borough’s recycling rate from 37% to 45% within 12 months and a stretched target of 48%.

The latest data, which covers April to August, shows:

  • Food waste recycling is up by 75%, compared to the same period last year – before the service change began. This is an average of 473 tonnes per month – equivalent to the weight of more than two blue whales.
  • A 14% reduction in the total amount of waste produced has also had a major impact. This is 2,887 tonnes less than the same five months last year – equivalent to the weight of a hippopotamus – and generates significant financial savings.

The general waste is disposed of through the energy recovery facility at Beddington, rather than being sent to landfill, creating green energy in the form of electricity.

This year’s Recycle Week theme is Recycling. It’s in our own hands, which aims to encourage everyone to recycle more items from around their homes.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor Tobin Byers, said: “Recycling rates in Merton are at record levels and I would like to thank residents, who have significantly reduced the amount of waste they produce and recycled more of their rubbish.

“The introduction of the new recycling and rubbish collection service was the council’s largest service change in recent times and residents are quickly realising the potential of separating their recycling and presenting it in the right container on the right day for collection. This Recycle Week, it is really encouraging to see that residents are taking recycling into their own hands and recycling more than ever before.”