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Camdens new recycling policy unveiled

PUBLISHED: 12:07 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:46 07 September 2010

THE details of Camden Council s new recycling policy were unveiled at a Highgate meeting on Thursday. From June, 60 per cent of Camden residents – those who live in street properties – will be given new food and garden waste collections.

Charlotte Newton

THE details of Camden Council's new recycling policy were unveiled at a Highgate meeting on Thursday.

From June, 60 per cent of Camden residents - those who live in street properties - will be given new food and garden waste collections.

Under the proposals residents will also have to separate paper and card from glass, plastic and metal to ensure they can be fully recycled.

Camden's waste and recycling adviser Barry Ferns outlined the proposals to residents at the Highgate area forum in Chester Road library.

Mr Ferns said: "Recycling is an ever changing industry. Ten years ago there were very few door-to-door collection services. From June 20, Camden will be rolling out new recycling services."

Up to 40 per cent of the borough's residents who live on housing estates or in flats will not be involved in the initial roll-out of the scheme.

"The aim of this scheme is to raise recycling rates," Mr Ferns said. "If we roll it out too quickly it won't work. If food and garden waste are not collected appropriately it will very easily attract rodents and it will be unpopular with residents. We can't have lots of small caddies on housing estates or in flats because there is not enough space and the larger bins have to be positioned in places where they will not cause a fire hazard. The council still needs to consult with landlords and residents."

The initiative was widely welcomed by residents at the meeting and the three Highgate ward Green councillors.

After the meeting Maya de Souza, deputy leader of the Green Group and a ward councillor in Highgate said: "Essentially we think food recycling is a good thing and we believe that it should be composted and used to obtain energy through anaerobic digestion.

"However, the council should be making efforts to reduce the amount of food waste in the borough: up to 20 per cent of food is wasted.

"We also support separating out waste so that we can ensure recycling matter can be re-used."

In Camden, ordinary waste collections take place twice a week and recycling is collected once a week. Ms de Souza said the Greens would like to see these collections reversed.

"That way it would encourage people to think more carefully about what they are throwing out," she said.

Households which are involved in the scheme will be provided with a small plastic green bin to collect food waste such as peelings, vegetables and tea bags in.

The council will deliver larger brown bins for residents which they can keep in the garden until it is collected.

Each household involved in the scheme will also be given three white plastic bags to dispose of garden waste such as leaves, twigs and grass cuttings.

Paper and card will be collected separately in a blue bag while the normal green boxes will still be provided for other recyclables.

Waste collections will continue as normal. Camden Council currently does not use any powers to force residents to recycle and all recycling, including the new collections, is optional.

In Barnet residents face a £1,000 fine if they fail to recycle household waste.

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