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From 'Wasters' to 'Winners'

Recycle Western Riverside (RWR) has successfully turned a number of householders from ‘wasters’ to‘winners’ in just six weeks.

the families celebrate their success

Through its ‘What Not to Waste’ makeover, 14 London homes have reduced their rubbish by half thanks to the initiative which required residents to complete a series of three fortnightly missions to ‘Recycle’, ‘Reduce’ and ‘Reuse’ as much of their waste as possible.

Using mentors to guide the residents through various challenges, the 14 families managed to slash their black sack rubbish by 53%, which would save 1.7 million tonnes of rubbish from being landfilled each year.

Each household followed a set of rules with participants encouraged to recycle as much as possible and shown how their lifestyle impacts on the amount of rubbish they produce.

RWR recycling support officer Anekka Scarth said: “I’m thrilled with the progress the families made. Many of them knew little about recycling before starting the challenge but all have stuck with it and made a really positive change.

“The ‘What Not to Waste’ makeover really proves that everyone can make recycling part of their daily routine and dramatically reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill.”

Positive change manifested itself in different ways with Jenny Baker from Lambeth starting an indoor composting system, saving around 65kg of food waste from landfill each year, while Gloria Pereira from Kensington and Chelsea tripled the amount she recycles.

Candi Perez from Fulham cut the amount of non-recyclable material in her recycling bin by 73% and Sylvie Sasaki from Wandsworth put a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on her door which has reduced volumes by 86%.

With impressive results and lifestyle changes from the initiative, RWR is now encouraging everyone to take up the ‘What Not to Waste Challenge’. Details can found by logging on to

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