Food waste piled up

Merton food waste recycling equivalent to weight of two blue whales

By Kate Pounds
September 30 2019, 14.15

Food waste recycling in Merton from April to August reached an average 473 tonnes per month – more than the weight of two blue whales.

This represents a 75% increase from the same period in 2018 and is a result of Merton Council’s new scheme to reduce waste, leading towards the council bagging its hoped for recycling target of 48%.

A key aim of the new recycling and rubbish collection service was to increase the percentage of waste being recycled from 37 to 45% over a 12 month period: from May 2018 to May 2019.  Coming in at 47% by the end of this interval, the borough had already achieved a record, with just 1% to go before reaching the scheme’s highest hopes of 48%: called the stretch target.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Tobin Byers, said: “Recycling rates in Merton are at record levels and I would like to thank residents, who have significantly reduced the amount of waste they produce and recycled more of their rubbish.

“The introduction of the new recycling and rubbish collection service was the council’s largest service change in recent times and residents are quickly realising the potential of separating their recycling and presenting it in the right container on the right day for collection.

“This Recycle Week, it is really encouraging to see that residents are taking recycling into their own hands and recycling more than ever before.”

The reduction in total waste over the five month period has also had a large impact, down 14%, which represents 2,887 tonnes less than the same period in 2018, and is heavier than a hypopotamus – no, not a hippo bag!

If the new service continues to go swimmingly, this success will see Merton join the highest 25% of all 33 London local authorities for recycling by the end of the year.

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