Sorry to bin-shame you, London, but compared to the rest of the UK we’re garbage at recycling. According to Defra, less than 35 percent of our household waste is sent off to be recycled (compared with 46 percent nationally). Plus, here are major discrepancies between the boroughs – as this map shows. Just over half of Bexley’s household waste is recycled, while, down at the other end of the scale, Newham recycles less than a fifth.
So what’s going on? Well, each council has its own system. In some areas, it’s a case of lobbing stuff into a box. In others, getting to grips with a multitude of coloured bins can feel like trying to crack the Enigma code. In places like Bromley or Sutton, people are more likely to have green space – all that garden waste helps to boost their total. Deprivation also has a direct impact on recycling.
Thankfully councils are working on simplifying the whole process, but there’s a lot more we can all do to cut the crap in the meantime. Get started by checking out our feature on living a recycled life, and get some rubbish-reduction inspo in the process. After all, your trash might be another Londoner’s treasure.