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Too many sheets on our streets, Westminster Council says

Westminster City Council has pledged its support for a campaign group that wants more freesheet newspapers to be recycled in the capital.


Campaign group Project Freesheet is urging people interested in recycling to participate in the campaign to raise issues of the impact of freesheets on the environment.

The council claims that around 1,000 tonnes of free newspapers are ending up on Westminsters streets and in litter bins every year, accounting for up to a quarter of all street waste in the West End alone. And as the newspapers are contaminated by other waste they cannot even by recycled.

Westminster City Councils cabinet member for street environment Councillor Alan Bradley said: This campaign is highlighting the very issues we are facing.
Westminster is at the sharp end due to the proliferation of free newspapers, and areas of the city which have won awards for their cleanliness are being blighted by a sea of discarded newspapers.

Were not against free newspapers per se, but what we are against is their negative impact on the environment.

Weve been negotiating with the publishers of the free evening newspapers which are impacting most to help set up a viable recycling scheme in
Westminster targeted specifically at their newspapers.

A spokesperson for Associated Newspapers, owner of the London Lite freesheet said: At present we are in talks with Westminster Council and therefore have no comment on this subject at present.

The council increased the number of newspaper recycling bins to 131 following the launch of the free evening newspapers last August, but to cope with the sheer volume of waste it estimates it would need an extra 300 bins at a cost of £500,000 in the first two years
.

Project Freesheet organiser Justin Canning said: There appears to be a lot of hypocrisy by these newspapers which tout their own green agenda in their news pages, but do not follow that through with actions when it comes to the problems theyre creating.

We want readers to be aware of their impact and responsibilities towards the environment, but the producers also have a responsibility, and its down to their readers to force these publishers to make sure their waste is recycled.

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