Merton Council trials car-free visits to household waste centre

Merton residents now have a more environmentally-friendly way to dispose of their household waste, as the local council has started to allow visits by foot and bike to the Garth Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre on a trial basis. Unlike visits by car or van, those visiting by foot or bike do not have to book in advance, and will be met at the gate of the facility by staff who will give them special containers for their waste.

The trial scheme is expected to deliver the dual benefits of helping to to reduce the number of car journeys made in the borough, and making the centre at Garth Road accessible for the many local households who do not own a car. Transport for London estimates that 1 in 3 households in outer London are car-free.

The centre accepts a vast array of different types of waste, including furniture, electrical appliances, garden waste, scrap metal, batteries, and glass. For a full list of what is accepted and what isn’t, visit:

Before visiting the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre, it’s important to remember to bring proof of your address (such as your driving licence or council tax bill), as only residents of the borough may dispose of waste there.

Residents who have bulky waste that would be difficult to transport via foot or bike can take advantage of the council’s bulky waste collection service. For a full list of what the council can collect, more information on pricing, and instructions on how to book, visit:

Councillor Natasha Irons, Merton’s Cabinet Member for Local Environment and Green Spaces, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to welcome residents travelling by foot or bike to the Garth Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre, as we want this vital facility to be accessible to all our residents, not just those who drive.

“By removing the necessity to travel in a car or van, we’re also hoping to reduce the number of journeys made in our borough by polluting vehicles. As a council, we recognise that we’re in a climate emergency, and we know that we need to clean up our air. This scheme won’t solve all our traffic-related problems, but I’m delighted that we’re able to offer people a new opportunity to leave their car at home.”