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Barnet unaffected by lowered penalties

Hendon town hall

London’s first borough to introduce a compulsory recycling scheme has said that changes in the law have not affected its ability to enforce.

Barnet London Borough Council implemented a compulsory scheme in 2005 but the Deregulation Act 2015 lowered the fixed rate penalty a local authority can charge a non-compliant resident from £110 to £60.

A council spokesperson told MRW the changes had not affected the council’s ability to enforce its collection regime.

“The compulsory recycling scheme is one of the council’s tools for enforcement, and a range of options will be considered in the development of the action plan that will accompany the final strategy,” they said.

A draft for a new municipal waste and recycling strategy until 2030 was unanimously agreed by the council at a meeting on 11 January.

Barnet fell short of its 41% recycling rate target in 2014-15 but the strategy sets a goal of 50% by 2020.

The council aims to provide every household in the borough with easy access to its mixed recycling service, with a particular focus on flats and accommodation above shops.

Environment committee chairman Dean Cohen said: “We know that a considerable amount of waste residents put in their black bins can be recycled or reused, and we can do a lot more to educate and encourage residents on this matter.

“It’s also not a secret that the council faces challenging financial times and we can all play our part by reducing our waste and recycling. It’s not only better for the environment to recycle, but it is cheaper than sending waste to be incinerated.”

Its draft strategy will go out to public consultation on 18 January and will close on 13 March.

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