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High-density housing no excuse for failing to boost London’s recycling rates, says Assembly


espite common perceptions, high-density housing is not an insurmountable barrier to Londoners recycling more of their waste, a new report from

the London Assembly says. Waste not, want not by the Assembly’s Environment Committee says that, while high-density housing does affect recycling performance, it does not necessarily prevent a borough from being able to recycle more waste.

The presence of lots of flats and estates is a specific challenge to improving recycling performance, typically because of a lack of space for storage and difficulty transporting materials to collection points. However, the report notes for example that in Tower Hamlets, where 84 per cent of properties are flats, 20 per cent of waste is recycled or composted – double the average for flats and estates in London. Although the capital has improved recycling performance in recent years, most boroughs fail to meet the average rates achieved across the UK. Recycling rates also vary widely across London with some boroughs achieving rates of more than 40 per cent while others do not meet a 2007 target of 20 per cent.

The investigation also found that the effects of another factor cited as a reason for poor recycling performance – deprivation levels – may have been overstated. Although income levels are important, they are not the overriding factor in determining recycling levels. Some

London boroughs with high levels of deprivation recycle more waste than might be expected, while other more affluent areas achieve lower-than-anticipated recycling rates.

The report concludes that political leadership is crucial to improving recycling rates and says residents of all types of properties can be motivated to do more if they are told about the financial savings recycling can bring. It recommends boroughs publish data about the value of recycling annually and urges the Mayor to promote schemes that reward communities for increasing recycling.

The report also raises concerns over the governance of waste disposal, which for 21 boroughs, takes place through Joint Waste Disposal Authorities (JWDA). This system – “frozen in time” since the abolition of the GLC in 1986 – does not appear best suited to boost recycling rates, with only two of the four JWDAs believing they will meet the Government’s 50 per cent recycling target by 2020.

It currently costs £580 million per year to manage

London’s waste, of which around £250 million goes in landfill costs. It has been estimated that if London recycled 60 per cent of its waste, £63 million could be saved each year. Landfill capacity is also due to expire within London by 2021 and outside the capital, space is expected to run out by 2025.

• contracts • contracts • contracts • contracts •

£6M WARWICKSHIRE MAINTENANCE CONTRACT Warwickshire County Council has awarded maintenance specialist Seddon Property Services a two-year contract – worth up to £6 million in total turnover – to provide responsive maintenance services for council-owned public buildings.

The contract starts in December 2011 and will see Seddon providing reactive repairs to council-owned buildings across the county,

including schools, care homes and libraries.

In addition, the County Council has separately appointed Seddon to its two- year, £12 million framework for the delivery of planned maintenance work to council- owned property. Seddon is one of five contractors selected for the planned maintenance framework. “We are delighted to be one of Warwickshire County Council’s chosen framework partners for planned

maintenance work,” says Neil Hand, joint managing director of Seddon Property Services. “Seddon has a lot of experience of working with local authorities and carrying out maintenance projects in occupied environments. Our skilled building maintenance team is also looking forward to providing council customers


with a fast, friendly and efficient reactive repairs service.” Seddon will provide a number of apprenticeships through its new contract with the County Council. Seddon Property Services is part of Seddon Group, a family-owned company specialising in construction, painting and maintenance and housebuilding.


BIRMINGHAM WITH TWO CONTRACT WINS The Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) has awarded Amey two four-year contracts to provide transport services across Birmingham and Solihull. Amey now delivers three integrated contracts for the BSMHFT.

In the first contract, Amey will deliver non-emergency patient transport across Birmingham and Solihull for approximately 1,000 patients per week. In a second contract, Amey will provide general transport services for medical equipment, care notes, pharmaceuticals, post and oxygen for the Trust. Both schemes will be integrated in order to provide the Trust with a cost effective, efficient and joined up service. Amey will use an innovative vehicle tracking and patient scheduling system to identify the most suitable transport for the patient and the most efficient routes; reducing carbon emissions, mileage and generating efficiencies.

Amey is already delivering a 35-year facilities

management contract for the

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