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Standardise recycling collection systems, say Friends of the Earth

The Government should be giving councils clearer guidance on the best systems to use for collecting recycling to reduce the scope for confusion, according to the Friends of the Earth.

The environmental campaign group said that local residents can be confused by recycling collection systems offered by their local authorities. It highlighted Southgate Road in London which straddled two local authority areas and had two different recycling systems in place, which had the potential to puzzle residents. On the Hackney Council side of the street collection staff segregate recyclable materials at the kerbside. But on the Islington Council side all recyclables are collected together.

Friends of the Earth said it preferred the source segregated method used by Hackney to collect recyclables as opposed to the Islington commingled collection.

Senior waste campaigner Michael Warhurst said: Rather than the current system we have we should go down to a handful of systems that can be standardised and have clearer policies.
Residents need systems that are simple. We have a situation where people can become confused about different recycling systems. This is particularly prevalent in London where there are so many London boroughs offering so may different systems. We need clearer guidance on the best systems to use.

The organisation also wants councils to provide clear information for residents on how to recycle their rubbish, and provide support to residents if they have problems.

Hackney Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods councillor Alan Laing said: In Hackney weve made recycling as simple as possible. All your dry recycling goes in a green box and all your food waste goes in a blue box. They are both collected on the same day each week. It isn't a complicated scheme which may be why our recycling levels have increased massively over the last few years. Our recycling crew sorts the materials collected at the kerb and by working in this way we can be sure of the quality of the recycling we collect and that it wont end up dumped in the developing world. 
Image: FoE image

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