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London councils notice dip in household waste levels

London councils have noticed a slight drop in their household waste collections due to a combination waste minimisation campaigns and the recession.

Speaking to MRW, Westminster City Council waste strategy manager Mark Banks said: I attended a recent Association of London Cleansing Officers meeting last week and councils have reported that they have noticed a slight decline in household waste tonnages. This could be down to waste minimisation campaigns or with the recession and people tightening their belts.

The ALCO is a forum for local authority senior officers in London to exchange information and to improve the understanding of waste management in London.

ALCO honorary chair and Harrow Council environmental waste services officer Andrew Baker said that he thinks that people were buying less things and producing less packaging to throw away as a result. He said: In Harrow we have noticed this trend for the last two to three years.

But this has become relatively marginal over the last five months and more noticeable.

This is probably the result of the combination of waste minimisation and recession.

The most recent figures to suggest that this pattern might be accurate come from the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs municipal waste management statistics 2007/08 for England. Published in November 2008 it shows that municipal waste decreased by 2.2% from 29.1m tonnes to 28.5m tonnes.

A London Councils spokesman had no firm evidence for the claims but said: Boroughs are always doing the best they can to help householders reduce the waste they generate.

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