Islington to enforce compulsory recycling?
By abi_silvester | Friday, November 19, 2010, 15:00
Islington has become the latest borough in London to consider a scheme
Does Islington need a compulsory recycling scheme?
that would force residents to recycle certain household waste items; a
move that echos changes at Barnet, Brent and Harrow, where failure to
recycle can already result in a fine.
I'm not sure how I feel about this proposal and would be interested to
hear what other residents have to say about it. On the one hand, it
seems unnecessarily draconian: Islington was named London's most environmentally-friendly borough in the spring; an accolade achieved in part through our own efforts to recycle waste. So why are we now being threatened with penalties?
The 'stick' approach also goes against the wider drive towards recycling in London, which focuses more on rewarding those who take a responsible attitude towards waste.
But the council has issued some fairly honest statements about the motivations behind the fixed penalty scheme, citing the expense of landfill disposal of items that should be being recycled. The charge currently stands at £105 per tonne.
The council hopes that the new scheme would lower the amount it spends on disposal, allowing the money to be ploughed back into "vital services". Councillor Paul Smith, executive member for environment at Islington,
said: "We're on the side of residents, and as we face huge government
funding cuts we need all our funding for our most vital services.
Further environmental arguments for the scheme are provided by data from those boroughs already issuing penalties for failure to comply with local recycling programmes: Barnet Council, for example, has claimed that it has seen a 28% jump in recycling rates since the compulsory scheme was introduced.
A decision is expected on the proposal after the council meeting on Thursday, and if it is agreed, should be coming into operation in February 2011.
Do you think a compulsory recycling scheme would be worth implementing in Islington?