London has a formidable reputation when it comes to many industries. Sadly, waste management is not one of them.  Waste and recycling processing in the capital has been causing chaos and confusion for some time now. One particularly unhelpful factor that exacerbates the problem is the fact that waste disposal methods differ across each of London’s thirty three boroughs. 

Thirty three boroughs, thirty three different policies.

As rents have increased in London over the past few years, there have been numerous acknowledgements that renters have been moving further afield. Perhaps unexpectedly, wasted waste is likely to be a byproduct of renters moving between boroughs.

For those lucky enough to be travelling overground, the diversity of shapes and colours for waste bins and bags across the city is a pretty noticeable aspect of London. Rather than making the place look more exciting, it indicates an ill-thought out approach to waste management.

When confronted with an entirely new process for recycling, it’s not surprising that London’s renters who are regularly on the move are confused. And unfortunately, with so many in shared housing, just one person’s misplaced waste could ruin the whole house’s recycling system.  

On a national scale

The UK currently recycles around 43% of their rubbish, but the average figure for London is a startlingly lower 34%.

Towards the end of last year there were reports that levels of recycling had dropped in 16 of London’s boroughs. Statistics for the borough of Newham’s recycling displayed a shocking fall of 3.4% each year.  London mayor Boris Johnson’s aspiration to achieve a 50% recycling rate by 2020 has been looking ambitious ever since. Not helping the situation, London Councils simply put the blame on the fact that London is a unique urban area with many pressures affecting recycling collection.

Another concern for London’s recycling is the fact that all major political parties have promised boosted property development in London following the election. The responsible construction waste handling company, OCS Environmental Services, warn that recycling goes far beyond the household variety: with such a high level of development in the forthcoming months, we need to think carefully about reusing demolition-derived materials and avoiding lazy habits of incinerating waste.

What can Londoners do?

There are innumerable reasons for Londoners to do their best to curb wasteful practices, especially with new kinds of waste on the way. According to bespoke hardware solutions company G2 Digital, thanks to the accessibility of cheap technology, we could see an emergence of vast quantities of e-waste (electronic waste). Such waste could have devastating consequences for land if not recycled properly.

Hopefully we can arrive at a single solution for waste and recycling across all London boroughs one day. Until then, simple recycling tips include familiarising yourself with what can be recycled and when it will be collected. Remember, your local council should be the first port of call when you have queries regarding recycling and waste disposal.

To help reuse (which is better than recycling), and benefit simultaneously, the London-based expert house clearance company Clearance Solutions suggest that people put their unwanted items on ebay. There are buyers out there willing to bid on what many would consider worthless: from video game console controllers to all kinds of mobile phone chargers.