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New Partnership contract delivers huge boost to recycling alongside financial savings

26 September 2017
  • Sutton Council’s recycling rate for April, May and June 2017 tops 50% – up at least 10 percentage points
  • Boost in recycling prompted by introduction of new waste and recycling collection service
  • Four-borough contract with Veolia will see harmonised collection service rolled out to one million south Londoners by 2019

Residents in Sutton are recycling more than they throw away for the first time in the London borough’s history, thanks to them making good use of a new recycling and waste collection service that was introduced in April 2017.

Waste tonnage data just released by the South London Waste Partnership shows that Sutton’s recycling rate for April, May and June 2017 was 53%, 50% and 53% respectively.  That’s at least 10 percentage points higher than the recycling rate at the same time last year (38%, 40% and 40% respectively).

The new collection service, delivered by Veolia, will be rolled-out across the other South London Waste Partnership boroughs (Merton, Croydon and Kingston) over the next two years.  By April 2019, one million Londoners across south London will be using the harmonised collection service designed to maximise recycling, minimise waste and save money.

Councillor Jill Whitehead, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee, said:

“I am delighted that the four-borough Environmental Services Contract negotiated by the South London Waste Partnership is having such a positive impact on recycling rates.

“The roll-out of the new collection service in Sutton has been challenging and there are still some isolated pockets of disruption, particularly with flats, which we are working hard with Veolia to resolve.  But the large majority of households are now receiving a reliable service.  As a result, resident satisfaction is improving rapidly; a recent survey showed that three quarters of residents are now satisfied with the service, which is almost back to pre-April levels.  And Sutton residents can be proud to say that they now live in one of the best recycling boroughs in London.”

Scott Edgell, General Manager (South London Waste Partnership) at Veolia said:

“We would like to thank residents in Sutton for their support and patience while the new collection service is bedding in.  We’re delighted that the new service has delivered such a significant boost to recycling in the borough, and that’s down to local people embracing the changes.  The vast majority of collections are now taking place on schedule and we’re pleased to see this reflected in improving satisfaction levels.  We look forward to working with the South London Waste Partnership in the coming years to replicate this across all four boroughs.”

In addition to recycling and refuse collections, the contract with Veolia also covers street cleansing, commercial waste, recyclate material sales, winter gritting and vehicle management.  In a second part of the Environmental Services contract, idverde provides parks, grounds and cemeteries maintenance services across the two boroughs of Merton and Sutton.  This part of the contract, which went live in February 2017, is operating well.


Notes to Editors:

  • Waste tonnage data for April, May and June 2017 was unaudited at time of publication
  • Sutton Collection Service satisfaction levels measured through an independently-conducted door-knocking survey of 288 Sutton households in August 2017.  Survey conducted in accordance with the Marketing & Social Research Code of Practice and the international standard for the management of market research (ISO20252:2012).  Satisfaction with the collection service in April 2017 was 49%, rising to 73% in July 2017.
  • The new collection service in Sutton has seen the introduction of a new weekly food waste collection service, alternate-weekly collection of twin-stream recycling (paper and card one week; plastic, glass, cans and cartons the next) and fortnightly collection of residual waste.
  • As well as boosting recycling and reducing waste, the new Environmental Services contract is also on track to deliver the expected £30m+ savings to the four South London Waste Partnership boroughs.

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