Camden Councils current commingled service is more efficient than a kerbside sort scheme it used in 2005/06, according to an independent audit it commissioned.
However, the performance of the materials recycling facility (MRF) where the collected materials are sorted was found to be less efficient.
A Camden Council spokeswoman said: The audit was undertaken last year to ensure we had a better understanding of our kerbside recycling service in the context of performance, environmental impacts, customer satisfaction and health and safety. As the environment and climate change agenda has become more of a priority it was felt that the service should be reviewed.
The findings came in the same month that the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) published a collections report which found in favour of kerbside sort compared to single stream commingled (MRW June 16).
We were not aware that WRAP intended to do a press release on the same day, this was purely coincidence, the council spokeswoman added.
To improve the efficiency of the MRF, the council is considering improving the quality of materials sent to the site and is looking at whether a closer sorting site could be used. To do this it will work with the waste disposal authority and contractors.
A spokeswoman for the council said this type of research was believed to be the first of its kind conducted by a local authority. Following the results, the council is calling for a bigger study into broader recycling issues to look at energy consumption, technology and where recyclables are sold or end up.