Promised improvement about waste services

I had recently reported that lids were missing from recycling containers and that it took me quite a while to get those replaced.

Councillor Eve McQuillan also took this up on our behalf with the council who promised: ………….”A new residents and agent reporting portal is being rolled out on our website, which will streamline reporting and viewing information relating to waste collections and cleansing services. This is under review and being adapted currently as the council recognizes some of the difficulties that Ms. Joanna has described.”


Purple bin recycling

I recently wrote about the Recycling-reward promotion, which has now ended. And also told people to be Savvy with Recycling.

purple bins

I am happy to say that those recycling bins have now been replaced (1.8.20) with lidded ones. Took a lot of effort though to do this. Reported first to a caretaker months ago.

A problem has occurred with the purple recycling bins, which I think is important but which doesn’t appear to be so important.

Two of our recycling bins near Rosebery House now miss their lids. Purple Recycling bins must have lids. According to commercial recycling companies, wet paper and card can do serious harm to recycling machinery.  Click through to read about paper and card recycling in particular.

“Can wet paper be recycled?

Wet paper or cardboard breaks down rapidly, which means the fibres become shorter and are harder to recycle. Wet paper and cardboard can stick to recycling machinery and clog it up.”

The missing lids on our purple bin means there is a greater chance that the whole content will get wet and will have to be discarded into general waste.

There seems to be nobody that I could contact per phone or per form on the council website to report this to.

I have therefore written to my councillor, MP and to a council email address to get this issue resolved.

In April 2018 “The average recycling rate in London is 33%—far less than the national average. The best five boroughs are Bexley, Ealing, Kingston upon Thames, Bromley and Hillingdon with recycling rates of 53%, 51%, 47%, 47% and 43%, respectively.”

According the the league tables Tower Hamlets is at the bottom for recycling. It comes in 30. place for recylcing only 23% of household waste.

If you got problems with the purple bins please email and preferrably also inform your councillor.



Be savvy with recycling

recycling-paper-bagWe now have a lot of purple recycling bins on our estate, one per block entrance. The purple bins have slots at the top to input smaller items and the lid can be lifted for larger amounts and recycling bags.

Whilst putting recycling into pink recycling plastic bags may be beneficial as it is better to recycle using a plastic bag than not at all and also it can prevent a  spoiling of the whole container if somebody puts dirty recycling into the container like greasy pizza boxes, dirty nappies, I would recommend using paper bags to put recycling into the containers.

Many retailers now pack into paper bags. Amazon Fresh, Sainsbury’s Chop Chop and also our local volunteers deliver food in large paper bags.

For your information The Sainsbury’s Chop Chop service delivers within 60 minutes of ordering up to 20 items via their App, which can be downloaded. That’s just an extra service for those who have to self-isolate.

Perhaps those receiving food parcels in paper bags, can ask those delivering them to take them back for the recycling once they have been filled. Or in each block recylcing bags could be taken from people’s flats to the recycling containers via the dedicated volunteer services.

Those bags lend themselves to become recycling containers, to collect and carry our recycling until it reaches the purple bins.

Please note that if you are from a household with a Corona Virus sufferer please ensure that all your waste is double bagged and binned carefully.


Food recycling petition

There is a petition on the Council’s website that supports a food recycling scheme for all households in the borough and not just for houses as it currently is.

We the undersigned petition the council to provide food waste recycling service to all households. Currently only 30,000 of the over 125,000 households in Tower Hamlets are provided with food waste recycling services (1). This limited availability of food waste recycling is fundamentally damaging to the environment. Food waste accounts for over 40% of household waste for an average household in the borough (2). Currently the only option for those without food waste recycling is to put food waste in the standard black collection bins for landfill. Food waste in landfill rots and releases harmful methane gas, which is 25x more potent than carbon dioxide. This significantly contributes to climate change (3). This is an avoidable scenario. Food waste, when recycled, can be converted into renewable energy and natural farm fertiliser. Anaerobic digesters are used to break down the food waste, which converts it into biogas for energy production (4). Any left over residue from this process is used as a naturally occurring fertilise…..

Please click the linkto support the petition.

Becoming recycling champions

TheLondon Recycles scheme runs competitions, which enable individuals to compete for a monthly recycling reward of £25 in vouchers for the top five scoring residents.

The estate, that earns the most Green Points will win the biggest share of a £1.500 to donate to a local charity. Create an account here.

Please recycle into the purple bins the following items, ensuring they are clean. Paper and card, cannot be soiled by oils or food left-over and tins need to be rinsed. Boxes need to be flat. Ensure no broken bottles or glass. Look at packaging to see which parts are fit for recycling and discard those items not suitable into the waste bin.

  • cans and tins
  • paper and card
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Plastic bottles, pots and trays
  • Aerosols

Generally with Christmas paper and decorations, if it is stiff and doesn’t stay flat when scrunched or folded, it is unsuitable for recycling. However, that can vary for every region and it is not quite clear to me what Tower Hamlets accepts.

As it will use water to rinse jars and bottles for recycling, it is probably a good idea to use left-over washing up or bathing water for that purpose.

I am not certain whether Christmas trees will again be collected this year in early January, as the post on the Tower Hamlets website was from January 2019.

Batteries can be recycled in larger supermarkets, which have battery recycling bins, please enquire and do not put them in the normal bins.

Clothing, shoes there are reccycling containers in the locality, e.g. near opposite the Nisa store in Bishops Way. Please do not put them into the purple recycling bins.

Compost recycling is carried out by the Parkview Gardening scheme, they accept coffee grounds, tea bags* and some food waste, please get in touch with the Parkview Gardening scheme to arrange.

*Most tea bags contain plastics, so are not suitable for the compost.