Hallelujah! Cardboard recycling comes to Wanstead

It’s nearly a year ago now that Wansteadium – while giving credit for Redbridge’s efforts at door-to-door recycling collection – opined at the lack of cardboard collections, particularly when other boroughs seemed able to offer it.

Well it gives us GREAT PLEASURE to be able to convey the news that from 9 May, Wanstead residents will be able to include cardboard in their blue boxes. Houses which don’t already have a blue box will receive one in the next couple of months.

The council says the cardboard has to fit completely in the box, so might need cutting up to fit, and that milk and juice cartons don’t count as cardboard. But this is generally a very fine development, and might help the borough climb from its mid-ranking placing on the league table of London councils’ recycling performance.

Wanstead news roundup, 4-6-10; Cardboard, chutzpah, and Fatboy

• Following Wansteadium’s report about blue recycling boxes, and Redbridge’s non-acceptance of card and cardboard, the Wanstead Guardian reports that a trial is beginning in July in parts of Redbridge which might lead to card being accepted with paper.

• An instance of Chutzpah Car Crime in Colvin Gardens – not content with housebreaking while householders slept upstairs, thieves took the car keys of the family’s Toyota Verso and nicked that too.

Redbridge Life, May edition• Redbridge Council’s colourful but harmless freesheet Redbridge Life could be under threat – more than 100,000 copies are distributed each month and it could fall prey to budget cuts. The Ilford Recorder puts the cost of the publication at £100,000 – which seems low but must account for revenues from advertising. Council-run publications are one of the targets of the new government, especially where they amount to unfair competition to the local press.

• Fatboy in EastEnders is from Wanstead.

Wanstead’s got blue boxes. (But keep your cereal packets.)

Wanstead blue recycling box
The new blue newspaper recycling boxes distributed to Wanstead houses are part of a trial to see if they increase recycling rates. Wanstead is the only part of Redbridge taking part in this trial, but the council’s intention is that if successful it will be extended borough-wide.

As the table below shows, Redbridge is mid-ranking among London boroughs in its recycling rate. The increase in recycling, from pretty much nothing in 1998, is in its way remarkable. But with London boroughs being given targets of 50% by 2020 and 60% by 2031 by the Mayor of London, Redbridge and others have their work cut out.

So why can Wanstead residents still not put cardboard with their kerbside recyclables, especially when they can take it to recycling centres?

An answer comes from the Redbridge website:

We do not accept cardboard in your recycling box and this includes thin card such as cereal boxes and small food packaging.  The reason why we don’t accept these is because your recycling box is taken to a facility that cannot recycle cardboard therefore we encourage you to take this to a cardboard recycling bank or if you can’t then put it in the rubbish.

With many councils offering cardboard collections, and even moving into the realm of food waste collections, this is evidently an area for future activity.

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