10 December 2019 by Claudia Glover

LWARB flats project sees recycling rise

Changes in the way recycling banks are managed and promoted have enhanced recycling rates in a housing association development in London by 26%.

The jump in recycling has been reported by LWARB – the London Waste and Recycling Board –following a two-year-long research project in the capital.

Preliminary finds of the research have just been release while a full project report is expected in January.

Flats recycling

(L-R) Liz Goodwin, director at WRI, Thérèse Coffey, ex Environment Minister and John Spillet, commercial director at Peabody, at the introduction to the scheme in 2018

Resource London, a partnership between London recycling body LWARB and resource charity WRAP, carried out the recycling research project in conjunction with the Peabody Housing Association.

The project, which finished in September of this year, explored why residents of flats in London are less likely to recycle.

The main outcome of the research, according to Resource London, is that a high minimum service standard has the strongest impact on recycling behaviours. Their evidence suggests that new bins with a wider aperture and good and clear signage could increase the likelihood of an increased rate of recycling in flats.

Resource London said that the “findings showed that recycling rates increased by 26%, capture rate by 22% and contamination rate by reduced 24%”.

The project began in February 2018, partly in response to Defra’s 2017 recycling figures. London’s rate of recycling was 33%, which was 11% behind the rest of England’s. Peabody said that this disparity was due to the number of people living in flats in London being higher than in the rest of the UK. (See letsrecycle.com story here)

According to information released by Peabody before the research began: “Peabody and Resource London have joined forces to try and understand why flat-dwellers recycle less and how this information could be improved”.

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