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A Chiswick resident has highlighted what he says is a double standard practiced by Hounslow Council, which encourages recycling in street bins, yet admits that all the rubbish in the bin goes to landfill.

Data scientist Nick Synes first noticed that council workers who collected rubbish from his flat, were not recycling it and throwing the bags into a general waste lorry.

image of street bin

He said that he was told by the workers that rubbish from flats above shops as well as public bins was not being recycled. He then decided to stick labels onto the street bins stating “General Waste only. Hounslow council does not recycle the contents of this bin.”

Hounslow Council has warned Mr. Synes that it will not tolerate this. They said, "We would like to remind residents that this is an offence. Those caught face being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice and/or prosecution.”

The story was revealed in the Evening Standard newspaper.

The Council says that Hounslow Highways does not currently recycle waste from street litter bins. "They have been routinely replacing older bins on an annual basis with regular and larger capacity units to ensure the bins on the network are fit for purpose.

"Hounslow Highways have completed some trials in the past promoting recycling from litter bins and had placed dual use bins on the network for this purpose. However, these trials have not been successful as the recycling was predominantly contaminated with non-recyclable materials. We are again working with partners to agree solutions for the future."

Hounslow has currently one of the lowest cycling rates in the country, at less than 30 per cent, and has been on a major recycling drive, investing in a multimillion pound waste and recycling depot at Southall Lane where over 16,000 tonnes of recycling will be processed each year.

Last summer, the Council started a big recycling campaign including collecting recycling weekly and general waste fortnightly to around 75,000 households. Residents were issued with even ore recycling boxes so that recycling for plastics, glass, paper and cardboard could be completed.The Council claims that since the changes, the recycling rate has increased from 29.8% during 2016/17 to 33.2% in Sept 2017.

The Council also says, "For flats above shops (approximately 2,500 properties), the twice weekly collections was not effective and this service is currently under review. Residents were previously issued with clear bags for recycling (co-mingled) and purple bags for residual waste but the vast majority of the recycling was contaminated and therefore it could not be recycled.

"We are working with Recycle 360, our wholly owned company and the West London Waste Authority to develop long-term solutions for recycling provision for flats above shops. We have initiated a campaign across the borough on our street bins, waste trucks and using on-street advertising to help tackle the dumping of rubbish in the street as we had noticed an increase in domestic waste being placed into our street bins. However, we are not the only London Borough experiencing this and we have been proactive in tackling this issue and we are highlighting our zero-tolerance approach to littering."


March 24, 2018

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