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Small businesses in London fail to recycle - COMMENT UPDATE

A significant number of small businesses based in London are not taking the initiative to manage the waste they produce because they lack facilities, advice and motivation, according to the London Assembly.

Only one in five small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) actively seek information and advice on waste management. And 72% said they would be encouraged to take more steps to manage their waste if offered a financial incentive, such as a business rebate.

The survey, commissioned by the Assemblys Environment Committee also found that 42% of the capitals SMEs highlighted the need for recycling facilities.

Chair of the Assemblys Environment Committee Darren Johnson said: SMEs need the tools to improve their recycling behaviour and contribute to a clean and sustainable capital.

Our research found that although three-quarters of SMEs in
London are already taking an active approach to sustainable waste management, a large proportion are still executing bad practice and struggling to get to grips with whom to contact for advice.

The capitals hotels and restaurants scored badly on the survey, with 34% needing to change their waste management behaviour.

Johnson said: Almost one in four SMEs still throw out paper and cardboard rather than recycling; four in ten do not recycle glass and one in five throw out all their waste exclusively to landfill.

Local councils are the first port of call for many small businesses. Although some local authorities are actively offering trade recycling services, there is still some mystery surrounding who to contact for waste management advice.

Support and advice for the capitals SMEs is patchy. SMEs are willing but not always able to take an active approach.
Local small businesses where I live recycle their cardboard boxes and paper by filling up the residents' recycling bins in one go. So residents end up putting their paper in ordinary bins. When challenged, the local small businesses say they cannot afford to pay the extra cost of recycling

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