Saturday, 16 November 2013

Lambeth Council's recycling rate plummets

The latest annual figures for recycling have been released, and Labour-led Lambeth Council's recycling rate has plummeted from 28% to 23%.

Green London Assembly member Jenny Jones put out a press release about it on Tuesday, and it was reported in the South London Press on Friday.

We exposed last year how Lambeth Council was fiddling the recycling figures. It is now sending its waste for incineration, causing more air pollution, and claiming this is recycling. This received some important coverage from the BBC. It also brought a rebuke for Lambeth Council from the Mayor of London.

Lambeth Council has actually been falling further and further behind the London average recycling rate - something which the London Assembly has concluded is a failure of political leadership. This is however the first time it has actually fallen, since 2003 when the Lib Dems were in charge. It's recycling rate has now returned to the levels of 2006/07, when Labour took over.

As usual the Lib Dems have been quick to put out a press release expressing 'outrage'. They are however, failing to hold the Council to account as the official opposition (although they are quick to pop out a statement every time we expose Lambeth's failures on recycling). As their leaflet distributed in Streatham a couple of weeks ago states, they are even opposing the new food waste collections.

The Lib Dem claim that they got Lambeth's recycling rate up to 25% in 2006 (when they were in coalition with the Conservatives) is also rubbish. As the graph here clearly shows, they got it up to 22%, but this was only in line with the London average. And that was after the rate dipped well below the London average in the second year they were in charge.

To give an idea of the kind of levels that are achievable, next door Southwark is achieving a 30% rate, and Croydon a 44% rate.

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