The lucrative contract retained by the Metro on Transport for Londons network includes new measures to further encourage newspaper recycling, TfL has claimed.
The contract, which begins on 6 April, allows distribution of the free morning newspaper on weekday mornings at around 250 underground stations and 14 London bus stations for the next seven and a half years.
London Underground interim managing director Richard Parry said: As well as expanding the existing Metro recycling scheme to more stations, the deal will also include new measures to reduce the number of copies left behind at the end of the distribution period every day.
Officials at City Hall assert there are borough recycling facilities outside 135 underground stations with dedicated newspaper recycling facilities provided at a further six. While on London Overground, newspapers can be recycled at 35 of the 37 stations.
A spokesman for the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said: This might seem impressive until you remember that, one: this is only one in two underground stations - in total there are about 270 underground stations across the whole network; and two: borough recycling facilities outside stations can mean almost anything. Many underground stations have lots of exits for a start.
"Trying to quickly find these recycling facilities can be difficult and time consuming. They are at best a complement, not a substitute for recycling facilities that should be provided within underground stations and across the DLR.
Answers are still to come from City Hall as to what exactly these new measures will be. Questions asked by London Assembly member Mike Tuffrey highlight that TfLs 2009 Environment Report suggests London Underground recycled less Commercial & Industrial waste which mainly comprises passenger waste - in 2008/09 than it did in 2007/08, even though the same amount of waste was produced.
TfL attributed this to bad performance of the paper recycling market in the former period when poorer quality material collected could not be sold and more extensive data collection.
It is thought that around 1.7 million free newspapers are distributed in London daily.
TfLs 2009 Environment Report also revealed that Victoria Coach Station recycled only 0.05 tonnes a year of over 300 tonnes of Commercial & Industrial waste produced. Although a new recycling system for cardboard is planned at the station to start from this March in addition to a food composting system also in the pipeline.
An MRW investigation highlighted that out of 29 train operating companies, 22 of them lacked specific information on the volumes of passenger waste produced and the proportion recycled.