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Ninth North London Recycling Forum brings ideas to the table

Local authorities have to work in closer partnership with the community sector if they are to tackle sustainable waste management, announced speakers at the North London Recycling Forum (NLRF).

Co-ordinator Guy Mansfield-Williams said: Local authorities are the gatekeepers in waste management and they aim to get the widest possible involvement from all sectors in the waste industry. To make any form of waste management work you have to communicate it to the public and get them on board. The community sector should be involved as much as possible and systems should be in place to help small businesses to get involved in the waste chain.

In its ninth year of running, the NLRF aims to bring together all sections of the waste management industry based in north
London in order to share ideas and address common issues.

Guest speaker Dorset County Council waste reduction officer Marten Gregory said: Local authorities are not the best outlet to enable change, it is the community themselves. That is the only way forward; it is what is needed to get long-term communal change.

s recycling rate currently stands at 27%, according to Defra figures. Yet Dorset has one of the highest recycling rates in the country and householders recycle 38.36% of their waste.

Gregory cited the example of Modbury, Devon , the first plastic bag-free town in Europe , as the perfect example of how a community can make a change to the environment.

He said: Waste reduction campaigns have to be ongoing and continuous, so that the message is spread and neighbours talk to each other about it. We are not going in there preaching to people, we are just asking them what support they want. It is about working together.

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