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Recycling? Really?

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Thursday 6 November 2008 10.14pm
I'm sick of people telling me that recycling doesn't really get recycled by any of the London councils. Is this true? Does anybody know the practice of Lambeth or Southwark council? We diligently bag up recycling separately from rubbish each week, but where does it go? How do we know that it definitely goes to be recycled?

I'm hoping that recycling does get recycled, as I hate the idea that it just goes to the ordinary rubbish pile. I thought we were trying to avoid that. Are there any recycling plants in London?
Thursday 6 November 2008 11.51pm
It looks like they'd been selling it (for how much?) to poorer nations, but this Telegraph article implies that they can't sell it any more. Most of it should be good for incineration, though. If and when Belvedere goes on line, there'll be a cheap way of turning it into electricity.
Friday 7 November 2008 8.58am
Post the SE1 firework party I cannot TELL you how many bottles and cans we (well actually my lovely neighbours who are younger and stronger than me but I collected it) to the recycling bins. I am horrified to think that we could/should have just chucked it in the regular bin.
Friday 7 November 2008 9.19am
I think it's no longer as true as it was. Westminster send their mixed recycling (bags full of plastic, paper, glass, metal etc.) to a plant that cleverly separates it all. It's clearly not then going to landfill, but as the Telegraph suggests, there may well be no market, currently, for scrap.
Friday 7 November 2008 9.53am
I didn't realize how spoiled I was in San Francisco. There you just put everything into one bin, and the recycling plant separates everything via machinery. I'm finding it more challenging here, not least because our building has only two small recycling bins that are always full in a day (as opposed to the two enormous rubbish bins). If it's not actually being recycled, it makes you wonder why you bother (though I would still find it very difficult to throw a bottle into the regular bin).
Friday 7 November 2008 10.19am
It's definitely a myth (nowadays - it was true for some "rotten Boroughs" in the late 90s/early 00s).

The London Borough of Greenwich imports and processes many other Borough's recycling. There are also a number of plants up near Wembley, at Waltham Forest and out at Rainham in Essex. In the current climate (and given that as Reece identifies they can no longer sell it abroad) this is a very competitive business.

A new PET (plastic bottles) processing plan has recently opened at Dagenham and has the capacity to recycle 35,000 tonnes of plastic a year with expansion plans to 50,000 if it can find demand.

For the specifics of where our rubbish goes I've put in a request to LB Southwark for this information and will share it when I get a reply.
Saturday 8 November 2008 12.19am
Thanks for this. I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to put the same question to Lambeth Council. I know that the Lambeth recycling gets sent to a sorting plant (or their propaganda says that it does), but I just don't know what happens to it after that... Let's see what the responses are...
Saturday 8 November 2008 9.16am
Does anyone know if I can recycle the plastic tubs of M&S soup, via the clear bag recycling scheme? It says they are recyclable on the tub, but I wasn't sure if Southwark accepted them.
Saturday 8 November 2008 4.50pm
Zoe wrote:
Does anyone know if I can recycle the plastic tubs of M&S soup, via the clear bag recycling scheme? It says they are recyclable on the tub, but I wasn't sure if Southwark accepted them.

I think you can only put food tubs, like soup, yogurth or margarine tubs to the cans bins at the local recycling centres or the blue box scheme, but only plastic bottles via the clear bag scheme.

Also it seems that they are now accepting Yellow Pages and brown envelopes too with the recycling.
Saturday 8 November 2008 8.52pm
Thaks Nelson, is a local recycling centre the big black bins? I didn't know I could do yogurt and marg tubs as well, a whole new world of recycling has opened up for me!
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