Residents recycling efforts are creating more rubbish


A lack of bins provided for blocks of flats in Wimbledon is meaning residents are finding it difficult to recycle


By Holly Hamilton

Wimbledon’s bid to go green is exposed as a farce – by local residents.

Those living in blocks of flats described their struggle to recycle because of overflowing bins.

A lack of recycling bins provided for flats means they fill up almost immediately and piles of litter are created days before the weekly collection.

Gerard Simpson, resident in a block of flats on Sir Cyril Black Way, said: “The problem is getting worse and worse, our garden area was disgusting the other day when empty containers were strewn across the lawn.”

Mother of three, Judy Harris, said: “I try to set a good example to my kids but it’s very difficult when there is just nowhere for the bottles and papers to go.”

Waste Watch, an environmental charity, carried out a survey last summer that showed that 84% of Merton residents want to actively recycle their household waste.

There are currently three separate bins for recycling but Merton Council have plans to make it easier for flats by allowing materials to be mixed in one bin.

The council’s Director of Environment and Regeneration Chris Lee said: “We are pleased that so many of our residents are recycling and want them to continue their good work so we cut down the waste we send to landfill.

“This new service means that residents will have more flexibility and won’t have to worry about separating out their recycling.” 

Mr Lee says residents will be able to spread out the amount of recyclable materials between bins helping Merton achieve a 33% recycling target.

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) says that bin provision for flats is a problem across the country.

LARAC’s London representative Claire Howard said: “It’s not just a case of the council needing to provide more bins, they are attempting to fit recycling containers into locations that are simply not big enough.”

This is a particular problem on private estates where management companies often say no to housing recycling bins because there is no room for them.

Residents in individual homes also face difficulties as their recycling boxes do not have lids which creates further litter.

After this was raised in the Waste Watch survey, a council spokesman said: “Costs and time delays means that issuing lids for boxes borough-wide would make the service less efficient.”

Call the council’s waste help line on 020 8274 4902 for more information.

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