Ealing picks up plastics

Ealing council has spent £1.7M on 14 new recycling vehicles, which have enabled the simultaneous collection of mixed plastic and garden waste

Afleet of 14 new recycling vehicles costing £1.7M has hit the streets of Ealing, London, as part of a multi-million pound investment in waste and recycling services. The new trucks have two separate compartments, enabling Ealing council's contractor ECT to pick up mixed plastic and garden waste at the same time.

The council has invested £3.8M this year in recycling services. Improvements include single-day collections for all refuse and recycling, and same-day pick-up for any missed refuse collections that are reported to the council by 5pm. In a public consultation held last year, 87% of residents asked for plastic recycling to be introduced.

Although all plastic (with the exception of garden furniture and toys) will be collected by ECT, residents are being asked to keep plastic separate from all other recycling as it will be picked up by a different vehicle. Plastics will then be sorted so that as many items as possible are recycled with non-recyclable products taken out for disposal.

Green waste goes weekly
A new weekly garden waste collection service has also been rolled out, with collections on the same day as refuse and recycling collections, replacing the previous fortnightly service. As part of this initiative, reusable garden sacks will be phased in to replace the former disposable pink sacks.

And, as part of the council's mission to improve street cleanliness, all roads will be cleaned by the end of the next working day following refuse and recycling collections. An appointment-based special bulky-waste collection service, in which up to eight items can be taken away for £20, has also been introduced. And this aims to be twice as fast as the old service.

Recycling rates in the borough have improved from 19% to 25% over the past year, and the council is hoping that the extra investment in services will see rates increase further. It is not just those who live in houses who will benefit: residents in more than 1,000 homes (flats and red routes) will be offered a mixed-recycling service, while large blocks of flats will be provided with communal bins to boost recycling.

Council leader Jason Stacey says: "Early indications are that plastic recycling is proving to be popular and that residents are taking full advantage of the new services available. It's only a year since we first asked people what they wanted us to do to improve waste and recycling, so it's great that we've been able to introduce these widespread improvements in such a relatively short amount of time."

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