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Project boosts recycling rates in flats

People in front of recycling bins

A new report by Resource London shows that measures such as cleaning up bin areas and making sure bins are emptied regularly can improve recycling behaviour in flats.

Published: 11/02/2020

We've been working with Resource London to look at how we can encourage people living in flats to recycle more. Our two-year partnership project ran across 12 Peabody estates to improve the recycling rates from blocks of flats. Flats make up 36% of London accommodation, and recycle only 10% of their waste compared to the London average of 33%.

During the trial, tenants on the estates were encouraged to recycle more. Measures included cleaner bin areas with better signage, information packs, disposable bags and better placement of bins on the estates. This led to a 26% increase in recycling rates (from 10.7% to 13.4%) and a 24% decrease in contamination rates (from 30.7% to 23.4%).

Resource London is now working with local authorities and housing associations on the new measures – known as the ‘Flats Recycling Package’.

Brendan Sarsfield, Chief Executive of Peabody said:

“We’ve been part of the design and delivery of this project, have learned a great deal from it and have already started to implement some of the recommendations from the report. I firmly believe that housing providers should recognise that they have a pivotal role to play in improving the existing low recycling performance of flats, and Resource London’s report should help us all to do just that.”

Antony Buchan, Head of programme at Resource London, said:

“Achieving waste and recycling targets in London means we all have to do our bit, and our findings show that residents are ready and willing to recycle if the conditions are right.”

Film: Making recycling work for people in flats

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