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North London recycling efforts 'must double'

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has called on residents to double the amount of waste they recycle after warning a key target may be missed.

North London councils in the authority – Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest – aim to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020, while decreasing waste sent to landfill to 15%.

But despite a 2.4% increasing in recycling rates compared to the previous year, NLWA chairman Clyde Loakes said “much more” needed to be done.

A recent survey also found residents overestimated the amount of recycling in north London. The poll revealed a quarter of people mistakenly thought the current recycling rate was over 50%, when it is in fact only 32.9%.

Loakes said: “If we are going to achieve our targets, north London residents will need to almost double the amount of waste currently recycle.

“It is apparent that people think they are recycling far more than they actually are. The key to achieving our targets is to ensure people know how much they are currently recycling, which gives them the basis from which to aim higher, what the targets are, and what they can do to help work towards them.”

NLWA made the call as part of its ‘wise up to waste’ campaign to raise awareness of waste and recycling.

The website includes videos explaining what happens to waste and tips on “shopping smart”, wasting less and recycling more. A number of road shows around north London have also been scheduled.

Figures for April to June 2012 show that 32.9% of north London’s household waste was recycled, up from 30.5% at the same time last year.

Of the total amount of waste collected by the boroughs, 26.6% went to landfill, compared to 29.4% at the same time last year. The rest went for energy recovery.

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