Our refuse policy improvements for Tower Hamlets

1 December 2021

A key part of keeping Bow tidy is making sure that household and business waste is removed quickly and efficiently.

Keeping Bow tidy is one part of the wider need to make sure that our waste is dealt with responsibly. We should be reducing the amount of waste we produce, but some waste is unavoidable. That unavoidable waste should be recycled or re-purposed as much as possible. 

Recycling rates across Tower Hamlets have always been disappointingly low. In 2019/20 the borough managed to recycle just 20% of its waste. This is in fact a decrease from 28% in 2014/15. As the Green Party, we are frustrated that the council doesn’t seem to be taking action to improve this.

It is easy to see the problems with waste management when walking around the borough: recycling bins are not easy to use; collections are often missed, leaving bags to pile up for weeks. There are communication problems too: residents are not properly informed about what can be recycled or what happens to their waste. This confusion means there is a lack of trust in the recycling system. We are often told by residents that they don’t believe that their waste is really recycled.

It’s time to improve our recycling system, both to do our bit for the environment, and to rebuild residents’ trust.

How would we help?

If a Green is elected in May 2022, we would present the suggestions below as a starting point to fix our refuse system:

  • A second recycling centre for the Borough. The current centre at Yabsley Street is excellent, but is only really accessible by car, and is miles away from many in the Borough. We need another such centre towards the west of the Borough, which should be accessible and welcoming to pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Every year, every household must receive a clear notice, telling them:
    • the day of their waste/recycling/food/garden collection
    • what can and cannot be recycled
    • their right to have two free large waste collections every year
    • how to report missed collections
    • how to report dumped street waste
  • All blocks of flats must have clean, welcoming, clearly designated refuse areas with enough dumpsters.
  • All households should have the option to have their food waste collected.
  • Recycling bags and compostable food waste bags should be free for residents and easy to pick up at multiple accessible points throughout the borough.
  • Provide recycling bins next to all general waste bins in parks and on streets across the borough. 

In every part of this policy, priority should be given to both convenience for residents and how easy it is for refuse collection workers to to their jobs.

What do you want to see?

Do you have suggestions, thoughts, criticisms on our plans? Get in touch to have your say:
Website: www.towerhamlets.greenparty.org.uk

Facebook: @towerhamletsgreenparty 

Twitter: @thgreenparty






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