The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has a comprehensive WEEE collection offering, designed to make recycling more accessible for residents across north London.
More from: How to keep up the incentives to collect
This includes collection points at its reuse and recycling centres (RRCs), bring banks for small WEEE and a free kerbside collection service.
Seven out of nine RRCs in north London are managed by the NLWA, with the other two managed by the boroughs directly. These are all registered as publicly accessible designated collections facilities and accept household WEEE for recycling, a service that began when the WEEE regulations were introduced in 2007.
DHL Envirosolutions is the compliance scheme across north London and arranges the collection of WEEE from all sites, each of which currently collect five streams.
In addition to these, the NLWA has 63 small WEEE bring banks for small appliances, introduced across north London boroughs in January 2011. As Barbara Herridge, external relations manager at NLWA, explains: “The bring banks were introduced to make recycling WEEE more convenient and available 24/7 to residents.”
In April 2012, the NLWA and DHL added a free kerbside collection service, as Herridge explains: “The service was initially introduced on a trial basis and was extended a number of times by the partners, bringing free recycling for WEEE to thousands of households across north London.” The aim was to increase tonnage and divert material from the residual waste stream by making recycling more accessible for residents.
“This is particularly important in an urban area with relatively low levels of car ownership. It is usually large items such as fridges, freezers, cookers and TVs, and collecting these from inside peoples’ homes rather than having them left in front gardens or other places helps to maintain the street scene and will improve opportunities for reuse,” says Herridge.
The free collection service is available for north London companies and householders. The business element is a separate service offered by DHL, but it is promoted alongside the household service for maximum benefit. The service is part of an initiative called ‘1, 2, 3 Recycle for Free’ which has its own website and a freephone number.
Currently, just one RRC collects WEEE for reuse: Hornsey Street in Islington has collections from local community organisation Brightsparks. But the NLWA hopes to increase reuse at RRCs in the future. During 2015, ReStore Community Projects will also begin delivering the kerbside collection service, which will provide a further opportunity for items to be reused rather than recycled.
Herridge says the quality of material is much the same across the various collection methods, but the costs do vary. According to DHL, the delivery of the kerbside service is covered by the material value collected across north London.
Communication of the services by NLWA and DHL includes newspaper adverts, promotion at events, leaflet drops, competitions and ‘give & take days’.
The authority is planning its communications strategy for 2015-16, which will include continued promotion of all three collection services, including new approaches, says Herridge. “For example we will be adding stickers to the small WEEE banks to promote the other ways in which people can get their WEEE reused and recycled in response to feedback to the 2014-15 campaign – so we’ll be promoting all three collection options in a more integrated way.”