Council Sets Out Plans to Boost Recycling

Garden waste service and kerbside recycling being considered

Other boroughs already have a comprehensive garden waste collection service. Picture: Hounslow Council

January 15, 2024

A borough-wide garden waste service and ‘kerbside mobile recycling centre’ are among the initiatives Hammersmith and Fulham Council is considering as it looks to hit waste and recycling targets. The schemes are just two of the actions listed in the local authority’s Reduction and Recycling Plan (RRP), covering the period from April last year to March 2025, intended to ensure one of the country’s lowest waste-producing areas meets set goals.

The plan, which has recently been submitted to the Greater London Authority (GLA), is required to ensure councils are contributing to the Mayor of London’s city-wide waste and recycling targets. These include cutting food waste by 50 per cent per person and recycling 65 per cent of the city’s rubbish by 2030.

Asked why the RRP was filed earlier this month given it covers much of 2023, the council told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that these are live documents, and go through a process of agreement “which takes a bit of time on both sides”.

Targets include reducing annual household waste per head from 247.4 kilograms in 2019/20 to 240kgs in 2024/25, increasing the percent of kerbside properties from which the main dry materials and separate food waste is collected from 6 per cent to 100 per cent, and increasing the annual household waste recycling rate from 26 per cent to 33 per cent.

Also listed in the RRP is a series of actions the council has already begun or plans to undertake, or is exploring the feasibility of delivering, to ensure it reaches its set targets. One of the largest items, making a separate food waste collection available to all properties, is currently being rolled out to kerbside homes alongside the introduction of new wheeled bins. A Hammersmith and Fulham spokesperson confirmed the intention is to extend the food waste collection service to non-kerbside properties later in the year.

They said, “We’re making these changes to increase recycling, keep our streets cleaner and our crews safer. If selected, every home will have an opportunity to ensure the new bins suit your requirements. We’re speaking to as many residents as we can across Hammersmith and Fulham about these changes. We want to ensure that the service works for you and your home.”

Beyond food waste, a borough-wide garden waste service is also being investigated for potential roll-out in the spring. According to the RRP, Hammersmith and Fulham has fewer gardens than outer London boroughs, and many of those that do exist are likely to be smaller or paved.

A council spokesperson said the local authority is ‘considering a range of options’ as to how this could work when asked if the service would be free.

The feasibility of a potential borough-wide container collection service is also among the actions listed, as is a ‘kerbside mobile recycling centre’. Other local authorities, such as Westminster, already run a similar service, whereby residents can drop off items they would typically take to a local recycling centre.

Officers write in the plan, “The aim would be to make recycling and reuse as accessible as possible while minimising travel. Key items collected could include, electricals, furniture, textiles, batteries, mattresses, lightbulbs, ink cartridges, paint, books, CDs and gas canisters.”

According to the RRP, Hammersmith and Fulham is third out of 308 authorities in the country regarding the amount of waste collected per person, and has the ninth highest dry recycling rate in London.

Each borough’s plans can be seen on the GLA’s London Datastore here.

Ben Lynch - Local Democracy Reporter