Waste tonnage data released by SLWP shows that Sutton’s recycling rate for April, May and June 2017 was 53%, 50% and 53% respectively.
The council said for all three months this is at least 10 percentage points higher than the recycling rate at the same time last year (38%, 40% and 40% respectively).
The increase has been attributed to a recycling and waste collection service that was introduced in April 2017, delivered by Veolia. The collection service is due to be rolled-out across SLWP’s other boroughs (Merton, Croydon and Kingston) over the next two years.
By April 2019, one million Londoners across south London will be using the harmonised collection service designed to “maximise recycling, minimise waste and save money,” SLWP reported.
Councillor Jill Whitehead, chair of the South London Waste Partnership joint committee, said: “I am delighted that the four-borough Environmental Services Contract negotiated by the South London Waste Partnership is having such a positive impact on recycling rates.
“I am delighted that the four-borough Environmental Services Contract negotiated by the South London Waste Partnership is having such a positive impact on recycling rates.”
“The roll-out of the new collection service in Sutton has been challenging and there are still some isolated pockets of disruption, particularly with flats, which we are working hard with Veolia to resolve. But the large majority of households are now receiving a reliable service.
“As a result, resident satisfaction is improving rapidly; a recent survey showed that three quarters of residents are now satisfied with the service, which is almost back to pre-April levels.”
Scott Edgell, general manager (South London Waste Partnership) at Veolia, added: “We would like to thank residents in Sutton for their support and patience while the new collection service is bedding in. We’re delighted that the new service has delivered such a significant boost to recycling in the borough, and that’s down to local people embracing the changes.
“We look forward to working with the South London Waste Partnership in the coming years to replicate this across all four boroughs.”
Veolia began its contract to manage waste and recycling services on behalf of four South London boroughs in April, which is worth around £209 million over its eight year lifespan (see letsrecycle.com story).
The new service in Sutton – previously carried out in-house – saw the introduction of separate weekly food waste collection, alternate weekly collections of twin-stream dry recyclables, with paper and card collected one week and tins, plastics and glass the next, and a fortnightly collection for refuse.
In addition to recycling and refuse collections, the contract with Veolia also covers street cleansing, commercial waste, recyclate material sales, winter gritting and vehicle management.