Tower Hamlets in bid to improve low recycling rate

7 October 2008

Tower Hamlets council has today launched its biggest ever recycling campaign with the help of a spectacular giant robot in a bid to improve its record as one of the worst performing councils for recycling in the country.

Entitled 'We can Recycle More', the campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and using the borough's recycling service and saw the robot - named 'Mr Recycle More' - on display with special effects at Spitalfields Market this morning.

The six metre tall robot will promote recycling around Tower HamletsAt six metres tall, the robot, which is made of 33 recycling bins, towers over a double-decker bus. He has been built with the support of the council's recycling contractor, Veolia. The giant will now tour the streets as the council's ambassador for recycling as well as visiting community days, in residential areas and estates.

Hundreds of posters will also be put up on bill boards and buses starring local people who recycle.

The work is especially important because Tower Hamlets is among the lowest recycling authorities in the country, recording an 11.75% recycling rate in 2006-07.

Tower Hamlets council's Lead Member for Cleaner, Safer, Greener, councillor Abdal Ullah said: "It's no secret that Tower Hamlets is among the lowest recycling authorities in the country. But rather than just accept this fact the council is going all out with a massive campaign to get the whole community involved in recycling more.

"Our recycling rates in September this year were the highest they have ever been at 16 and a half per cent. This shows that people are responding to our services and the improvements we have made. We are really keen to carry on working with people and encouraging everyone to get involved and recycle more," he added.

Children from Ben Jonson Primary school also attended the launch to showcase a DVD they produced, with the council's waste education officer, about recycling.


A council spokeswoman added that Tower Hamlets would not use "over the top" enforcement measures to get residents on side.

She said: "We are all aware of the so-called council snoopers and reporting of use heavy-handed measures like fines and we are proud that Tower Hamlets Council is working with the community on a voluntary scheme.

"Against a background of increasing unease at what some perceive as over the top enforcement, Tower Hamlets is promoting am ambitious programme relying on people getting involved rather than enforcement tactics," she added.

The move in Tower Hamlets follows the introduction of weekly food waste recycling collections in the borough from September 1 as well as an army of litter pickers who will sort recyclable litter at the point they collect it for the first time.

The borough also recently launched Whitechapel as the first market in the country to recycle 100 per cent of the waste it generates.