Hackney should be recycling at least half its waste by 2020, according to the North London Waste Authority. At present, we are struggling to achieve half that much and showing no signs of improvement. Liberal Democrats think we should be doing much better.
Recycling is not just the right thing to do for the planet: Every tonne of waste we put into landfill costs Hackney Council - and ultimately the taxpayer - nearly £85.
Hitting our recycling target would save Hackney around £1.8 million a year in landfill tax.
Hackney Lib Dems' 5 step plan
Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners are calling on the Labour Council to do five simple things to make Hackney a cleaner and more sustainable borough to live in - and save us all some money.
1. Make it easier to get additional green recycling bags
Some larger families use green bags at a much faster rate and quickly run out. People living in flats often miss out too. Getting more can be difficult and needlessly bureaucratic.
Residents should be able to pick up additional bags at libraries, council offices and other community hubs. Lib Dem councillors have already got this proposal passed in the council chamber, but the council have been reluctant to do anything.
2. Provide more places to recycle batteries, electronics and low-energy light bulbs
All of us use electronic devices with replaceable parts these days and all those old batteries, chargers and bulbs can be recycled - in fact some can be very polluting if they go into landfill.
The Council has spent money on an ad campaign telling people to recycle electronics, but there are only a handful of places in Hackney where you can actually recycle . We want to see the number of collection points for batteries and bulbs doubled and rolled out to more locations to make recycling easier.
3. Crack down on illegal fly-tipping
According to the North London Waste Authority, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of incidents of fly-tipping in recent years. Dumped rubbish is an eyesore and can be dangerous. There seems to be a particular problem on some of Hackney's estates, with some viewing them as a convenient place to dump rubbish.
We want to see the Council working with local communities and the police to crack down on fly-tippers and keep our streets clean.
4. Make every bin a recycle bin
Public litter bins on many major streets in Hackney have already been switched to double-sided bins that allow items to be recycled. However, bins on smaller side streets and neighbourhoods are often still old style bins where everything goes to landfill.
The Council should speed up the replacement of public waste bins so that people can recycle on the go anywhere in Hackney.
5. Tackle wasteful bottled water
Of the 13 billion bottles of water sold each year in the UK, less than 1 in 5 gets recycled. The rest go into landfill. Bottled water is also often 500 times the price of drinking tap water and offers no health benefits.
Lib Dems would install new modern water fountains across Hackney to be used to fill re-usable bottles with clean, safe tap water. By reducing the use of bottled water, we can save people money and cut the amount of waste plastic we produce.
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