All North London Waste Authority (NLWA) boroughs offer separate waste and recycling collection services, and ensure that materials separated by residents are delivered for recycling. However, contamination presents a significant challenge for us. There is sometimes so much non-recyclable material mixed in with recycling that it is simply not possible to recycle it, and an entire lorry load of recycling must go to waste.
We and the north London boroughs try to minimise contamination, working with residents to explain the importance of recycling and providing information about what can and cannot be recycled. Contamination also costs local authorities money – both from the loss of income, but also the cost of sending that recycling to disposal.
Dense urban areas often have a high proportion of multiple occupancy housing and more transient population. The recycling rate in north London is currently 30%; we are working to raise this.