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The nation’s annual celebration of recycling: Recycle Week 2022 (17-23 October)

17 October 2022

Now in its eighteenth year, Recycle Now’s Recycle Week is the nation’s biggest annual celebration of recycling. This year the South London Waste Partnership boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton will be working alongside their waste and street cleansing contractor, Veolia, to support Recycle Week’s ‘Let’s get real’ campaign.

The aim is to challenge perceptions and myths around recycling, and target ‘contamination’ (when non-recyclable items are incorrectly put in recycling bins) to improve recycling behaviours.

Now more than ever, questions are being asked about recycling, so Veolia and the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) are on hand to support the public with helpful tips and answers this Recycle Week, encouraging sustainable waste behaviours in our communities.

To help reassure the public that their recycling really does make a difference, the four SLWP boroughs will be using their social media channels throughout the week to reveal day-by-day, the positive impact recycling different items can have on the environment and the realities of wasting valuable resources that can become new materials. In the UK alone, recycling saves around 10-15 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year – this is the equivalent of taking 3.5 million cars off the road!

Veolia’s dedicated education, communications and outreach team will also be visiting primary schools across the SLWP region to deliver Recycle Week-themed assemblies; talking to pupils about the importance of wasting less and recycling more and how they can help by becoming ‘Recycling Rockstars’. Each school visited by the Veolia team will also host a pop-up roadshow at drop-off or pick-up time where recycling experts will be on hand to answer any questions parents or carers may have.

Andrea Keys, Partnership Director for the South London Waste Partnership, said:

“We’ve come so far in a relatively short period of time: Across the SLWP region, the amount of waste we collect has fallen by 6.3% over the last five years – a fantastic achievement by the boroughs when you consider this has been a period of significant population growth. At the same time, the SLWP boroughs’ average recycling rate has gone up from 39% to 43%. So we really are wasting less and recycling more!

“There’s no doubt we’re on the right track, but there is still a long, long way to go; especially as we try to get back to our pre-covid average recycling rate of 47%. Recycle Week is the perfect opportunity to thank everyone for their efforts so far and to galvanise local people to continue to recycle more of the right things, more often.”

Pascal Hauret, Managing Director, Municipal at Veolia said:

“Recycle Week is a unique opportunity to raise awareness amongst the communities we work with across the country of the innovative solutions we are delivering to help residents recycle. We want them to know that their recycling really does make a difference. By supporting Recycle Now’s campaign it shows just how much energy and raw materials we can save and the pollution and waste we can reduce, together, working towards our purpose of ecological transformation.”

Craig Stephens, Campaign Manager for Recycle Now:

“By recycling even better we can have a big impact on our environment. In South London it’s no different – more and more people are recycling, so the next step is to make sure we get our recycling right. So come on, keep up the great work and let’s make Croydon, Kingston, Sutton and Merton’s recycling better than ever before!”


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