Residents’ recycling is not thrown away – 99% of what can be sent for recycling is sent for recycling!  

This Authority is aware that the Daily Telegraph and Greenpeace Unearthed have recently published articles calling into question whether the recycling material collected from the residents of its four constituent boroughs; namely, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is being processed correctly.

This Authority is concerned that these articles will cause residents to lose confidence in the system, which could have a negative impact on household recycling rates in the boroughs.  The Authority and the boroughs spend considerable resources encouraging residents to recycle as much and as accurately as possible and residents can be confident that their efforts to separate out clean, dry and targeted recyclables are not wasted.  This is because around 99% of the material we receive that can be recycled is sent to recycling processors to be made into new products.  Please do not stop recycling!

Unfortunately, a small number of residents do not use the recycling system correctly and place general rubbish in with the mixed recycling, such as soiled nappies, food waste, garden waste and many other items.  We communicate regularly that we can currently only recycle the following: paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, cans and pots, tubs and trays.

This rubbish, mixed with the recycling, can amount to around 13% of the total tonnage delivered.  We separate it out and send it for energy recovery.  ALL but around 1% of everything else is sorted and separated into different material types and sent to reprocessors in the UK or Europe; that’s nearly 60,000 tonnes of recyclate each year.

This Authority is completely open and transparent about the workings of the Materials Recycling Facility which is operated by its contractor, Cory Riverside Energy, and it is visited by more than 4,000 children and around 1,000 adults each year (including community groups and councillors).  We invite any resident or local group to come along and see for themselves how we sort their recycling.  Check our website here to book yourself a tour:


Recycling is not thrown away