Anger as recycling piles up


South Londoners are embarrassed about the state of their recycling bins – and the statistics show that many borough councils should share the blame.

More than 60 per cent of Lewisham residents said they had waste piling up around their recycling bins according to a survey of 2,000 people conducted by Recycle for London (RFL).

Participants of the survey said a lack of space was the biggest challenge to recycling. Statistics also show the scale of the challenge, as many councils are well behind the Mayor’s aim to make London 65 per cent recycling by 2030.

Of the 104,015 tonnes of household waste recorded between 2015 and 2016 in Lewisham, only 18 per cent was recycled.

This figure was lower still for non-household waste, where 11 per cent was recycled. A Lewisham council spokesman said: “Recycling is very important and we are determined to improve our performance.

“We’ve already seen a dramatic increase in our recycling rates since the introduction of a weekly food waste collection – rising to just over 24 per cent in the first month.

“We expect this improvement to continue and it will show in Recycle for London’s figures next year.”

Neighbouring borough Greenwich had the highest proportion with 35 per cent of household waste and a whopping 50 per cent of non-household rubbish being recycled. Southwark was on par with Greenwich with 35 per cent of household rubbish recycled. Lambeth was slightly lower on 29 per cent and Wandsworth was lower still at 21 per cent.

Recycle For London has launched a new campaign to inspire residents to get creative with recycling storage at home.

More than 60 per cent of Lewisham residents said they had waste piling up around their recycling bins

RFL campaigner Antony Buchan said: “Managing recycling at home is something we have to do every day, so it’s not surprising that the majority of London residents regularly suffer from ‘bin-digestion’ and the clutter and mess that comes with it.

“But the good news is there are simple things that can be done to help get to grips with this.

“Having a dedicated recycling bin for inside the home is a great option, but there are plenty of simple, low-cost solutions or ‘bin-hacks’ that can be equally as effective.

“We know Londoners are a creative lot, which is why our new ‘One bin is rubbish’ campaign is encouraging people to share their favourite bin-hacks so that every household can find the recycling solution that is right for them.”

They recommend keeping a basket under the stairs or by the front door to hold papers and magazines before taking them to an outside recycling bin or encourage your children to recycle by getting them to decorate a box.

RFL is a consumer campaign delivering London-wide communications and borough level support to help Londoners recycle more led by Mayor Khan’s push towards 65 per cent recycling by 2030.

Visit the website on for more bin-hack ideas.

Please support your local paper by making a donation



Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.

So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *