Does London Really Have a Recycling Problem?

published Jul 15, 2019
1 min read

It is obvious that London is a huge city in all ramifications and its residents generate large amounts of waste daily. With that, the city has low rubbish clearance and recycling rates compared to most cities in the UK. It is a surprising fact for most.

Between 2015 and 2016, the average household waste removal rate in an average household in London was only 32 percent. This compares poorly with the national average of 43 percent. Not just that, some situations are getting worse, rather than improving. London has the worst four councils at recycling. They include Westminster, Lewisham, Newham, Barking & Dagenham.

Recycling in London Infographic

Shocking Facts Regarding London’s Waste Production

This city produces enough waste to fill an Olympic swimming pool of a size of over 1,500 every year

According to a report presented by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, about 3.7 million tonnes of rubbish was collected by local authorities in 2016. This amount alone is enough to fill over 1,500 50-metre swimming pools. The current waste management in London is getting worse with the increase in population leading to a subsequent increase in waste, and the current low recycling rates of the city.

Every household produces an average of 1 tonne of waste yearly

It is surprising to learn how much an average London household contributes to waste collected yearly. According to reports presented by the government, the exact figure stands at 970kg for each household, which is like the weight of a car’s junk each year. Just imagine how frustrating it will be if no one collects your junk – picture seeing it building up right before your eyes!

It is estimated that waste disposal in London will increase by 1 million tonnes yearly

The local authorities in London will collect extra tonnes of rubbish yearly, based on data presented by the UK government. This number is assuming the residents produce the same amount of rubbish per household. That is an additional 500,000 truckloads of junk every year.

The biggest sewage blockage ever discovered in London had a weight of 130 tonnes

There are some things that are not to be flushed down the drain, including but not limited to nappies animal fats, and other items. When people flush these things down the drain, it results to a sewage blockage that will require hours of work by local authorities to remove. As it turns out, a sewage having the weight of 130 tonnes, which is approximately the weight of 17 elephants was discovered in this city, and was named Fatberg’.

5 out of the 10 councils that have the lowest recycling rates in England are found in London

The average recycling rate in England is 43 percent, and London has only 33 percent – much lower than the nation’s average. In addition to that, five out of the ten worse boroughs in England are found in London. They are:

  • Newham (14 percent)
  • Westminster City (17 percent)
  • Lewisham (18 percent)
  • Wandsworth (22 percent)
  • Hammersmith and Fulham (23 percent)

Presently, these stats look scary to say the least. Unless rubbish removal is taken seriously, most of the future predictions will sadly come true. An important step will be to contact a reliable London rubbish removal service to remove as much junk as possible out of homes for recycling if you discover a lot of junk lying around in your house.