Islington’s ‘dismal’ recycling rates dipped this year

Cllr Caroline Russell (Green) and Cllr Richard Watts (Lab) debated the new incinerator. Picture: Pol

Cllr Caroline Russell (Green) and Cllr Richard Watts (Lab) debated the new incinerator. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Islington’s recycling rates have dipped this year, according to new government data – and the borough’s sole green councillor fears a new incinerator could make this “dismal” record worse.

The Department for Food Environment & Rural Affairs released the figures on December 13, showing the average Islington household's recycling rate fell from 31.6 per cent in 2016-17 to 29.5pc this year.

This contrasts against a slight London-wide recycling rise of 0.1pc, bringing the capital's average to 33.1pc this year.

Cllr Caroline Russell (Green Highbury East) told the Gazette: "I warned my fellow councillors [at full council on December 6} we would need to keep an eye on recycling rates as there is a real risk that especially with new incinerator capacity coming on-stream that Islington will fail to improve our dismal record on recycling."

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Russell said "composting should be a priority".

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The new incinerator has been approved under the North London Waste Authority Plan, which Islington council boss Richard Watts said is "practical" and "gets the job done".

Addressing colleagues at the town hall meeting, he added: "It's worth saying the incinerator for this plan leads us to demolishing one of the dirtiest in Europe, so having a larger incinerator is a move forward."

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He also spoke of his "pride" in ending the multimillion pound Private Finance Initiative deal outsourcing waste services in 2013.

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