In an attempt to leave the ranks of the bottom 20 local authorities for recycling and composting, Tower Hamlets Council has launched a radical recycling campaign.
Called We Can Recycle More, the campaign is the biggest ever seen in the borough, according to the organisers.
In a departure from other local authorities methods to encourage good recycling behaviour the council will not be going down the recycling enforcement route, which involves checking bins and fines for non-compliance. Instead it has opted to work with the community on a voluntary scheme to ensure higher rates by relying on people to get involved.
Another unusual initiative has been to solicit the support of an army of litter pickers who, for the first time in the borough, will sort recyclable litter at the point they collect it.
To promote its efforts, the council has enlisted an unusual personlaity to front the campaign, a purple 20ft robot made from recycling bins called Mr Recycle More. He will launch the campaign at Spitalfields Market in east London (October 7). Then he will hit the streets of the borough, towering above buses and acting as the councils recycling ambassador. He will also visit community days in residential areas and estates to spread the message.
The council is also making the most of local faces to raise awareness, with hundreds of posters featuring local recyclers.
This drive to increase rates follows the introduction of green and food waste services in the borough.
* The borough also recently launched the Whitechapel Market recycling project, which was the first market in the country to recycle 100% of its waste (MRW August 8).