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Lib Dems act to boost Recycling in Sutton

March 10, 2014 12:22 PM

Thousands of residents in over 34,000 flats in Sutton are set to benefit from free reusable recycling-collection bags, to help boost recycling in the borough.

The project follows a decision by The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) to award over one-hundred thousand pounds to aid improvements in recycling to Sutton Council, as part of the LWARB's "Driving up Performance Fund".

The Lib Dem-run Sutton Council will be investing the funds to make recycling easier for residents living in flats, by supplying them with free reusable collection bags. Recycling signs will also be improved to make it more clear what can or cannot be recycled in the recycling bins.

The decision to invest the money in this way follows extensive dialogue with residents expressing the need for recycling to be made easier and more manageable. Research from the LWARB shows that introducing the reusable bags increases residents' participation and the overall amount of recycled material. Similarly better signage is also proven to lead to higher recycling rates.

Councillor Jill Whitehead, Chair for Environment and Neighbourhood Committee said:

"We have 34,000 flats in Sutton that we estimate could produce an extra 21kg of recyclable materials per year. If we can make recycling easier for our residents we could potential divert around 700 tonnes of recyclable material away from landfill. This would bring both environmental and financial benefits."

The initiative was welcomed by local environmental charity BioRegional, which partners with the council on a pioneering One Planet Living plan. Under this plan, Sutton has a target to increase its borough wide recycling rate to 70% in the next 12 years, and to send no waste to landfill by 2025.

BioRegional chief executive Sue Riddlestone said:

"This is a good move which will make recycling easier and more convenient for tens of thousands of people living in Sutton. It'll push up the recycling rate, save money, benefit the environment and take us a step nearer to becoming a zero waste borough. With so many households living in flats, it's vital that they get help and encouragement to recycle."

LWARB launched the Driving up Performance Fund for local authorities last year. Each project is awarded with grants ranging from £11,700 to £200,000. Roll-out of the reusable recycling collection bags is scheduled for autumn 2014.