Doing the right thing

Did you know that after Adult and Children Social Care costs, waste disposal is the next highest cost for the council? 

This would be substantially reduced if we all placed fewer items in black bags and made a big collective effort to recycle more. 


Every year Lambeth disposes of 120,000 tonnes of household waste. That’s the equivalent in weight of nearly 10,000 London buses.  At £143.50 per tonne it is extremely expensive for the council to dispose of residual waste (waste in black bags).  In comparison it costs only £25 per tonne to dispose of recycled waste.  If we doubled the amount of waste we recycled we could save £2.4m per year.

This is money we can invest in upgrading your pavements, resurfacing your roads or keeping the street clean.  In addition to saving money, recycling reduces the demand for raw materials, benefits the environment and helps Lambeth become a sustainable borough. 

With the population of London set to top 10m over the next fifteen years we cannot afford – in any sense – to duck this challenge.

Residents can play a crucial role.  Think about it, if a neighbourhood places their used papers, tins, bottles, empty milk cartons in black bags, disposing of those items would cost nearly six times as much compared to if those same items were placed in recycling bags.

On the Council website we’ve given examples of how residents can do their bit. There are lots of examples, from putting rubbish out on the right day to  using our recycle and reuse centres.

We were elected on an ambitious manifesto. We promised to make Lambeth cleaner and greener by cracking down on fly-tipping & littering, upgrading 130 miles of roads & pavements and increasing recycling rates.

Nobody is pretending that will be easy but we are making good progress. As we battle 56% cuts to our budget, encouraging residents to change their behaviour doesn’t just make environmental sense, it makes financial sense too.

 Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Cabinet Member for Environment & Sustainability

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