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Benefits of London Recycling Fund lauded by final report

The London Recycling Funds final report has been released by London Waste Action (LWA). It details key achievements and milestones delivered by the fund.

During four years of activity the fund used £50 million of core funding for recycling projects provided through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with support from the Waste & Resources Action Programme and the London Development Agency. An extra £142 million was brought in by the LWA through partnerships with private, public and community sectors.

The fund helped 134 projects across five categories, which included expanding kerb collections and flats recycling, building recycling infrastructure, conducting awareness and promotional campaigns, building reprocessing infrastructure, and enabling and expanding waste reduction and reuse.

Job and training opportunities were also created and the fund had its own consultants available to mentor and support borough project managers.

Through its work the fund contributed to Government targets to improve recycling rates. The report highlighted that average household recycling rates have almost doubled from 11% in 2001/02 to 21% in 2005/06.

London Recycling Fund project director Simon Read said: Through the fund, recycling rates were lifted to try and meet the Governments target of 25%. Before the fund started not many boroughs were collecting recyclates. Some were collecting paper and cardboard but others were doing nothing. The fund helped to roll out a recycling infrastructure and by 2006 every borough had this in place.

LWA chair Doug Benjafield (pictured)said: The fund stands as a testament to the benefits of an integrated inclusive approach between public and private sectors. One of its key successes was providing a vehicle for sharing best practice across all organisations involved. I hope that any future fund will build on the foundations of these successes and apply similar principles to funding.

A new fund has been announced by the Government and the LWA has offered to set it up. However, money from the new fund may not be available until April 2008.

LWA set up the fund in 2001 to ensure financial autonomy for the Londons waste sector and was aligned with the Mayor of London Ken Livingstones waste strategy.


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