Compulsory recycling to start in Islington next month

PUBLISHED: 16:42 08 March 2011

Councillor Paul Smith

Councillor Paul Smith


A CONTROVERSIAL compulsory recycling scheme will begin in Islington next month as the council bids to save money in the face of huge government funding cuts.

Residents who fail to separate their cans from their chocolate wrappers will be hit with £110 fines from April 4.

The plan sparked a backlash from residents and even Islington Green Party when it was announced in November, with opponents objecting to the idea of “bin wardens snooping on their rubbish.”

But town hall chiefs only persistent offenders will be hit with fines - and say they have to get tough because it costs the borough five times more to dispose of a tonne of rubbish to landfill than it does to deal with a tonne of recycling.

Councillor Paul Smith, Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said: “Islington is the London borough hardest hit by cuts from central government, and to protect services and keep council tax down we need to save money wherever we can.

“Recycling saves money, and recycling more means the money saved can be spent on important Islington services rather than being thrown away on our rubbish.

“We’re not trying to catch anyone out and we thank everyone who is already recycling. But we do think everyone should do their bit.

“Fines will be a last resort if we are 100 per cent sure people have been given the right information and containers but still refuse to recycle.”

Under the new compulsory recycling policy, all items that can be recycled at home need to be recycled instead of put in household rubbish.

Compulsory recycling applies to all council recycling services - including food waste where provided - and to all residents, whether they have door-to-door collection or take recycling to big communal recycling bins.

Sam Jarvis, of environmental charity Waste Watch, said: “Recycling makes both environmental and economic sense. In other boroughs, like Barnet and Brent, that have introduced similar schemes, there have been big rises in recycling.

“Recycling is one of those things that just becomes an everyday habit - by all pulling together, we can prevent precious resources being needlessly buried in the ground.”

- Residents who think they might not have the right containers for recycling can order them online at or by calling Contact Islington on 0207 527 2000. For more information visit

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