Fortnightly waste collections are set to be introduced for some households in Hackney, as part of an effort to further boost the borough’s recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste sent for incineration.

The decision, made by the Council’s Cabinet last night, follows a consultation in which nearly 11,000 people responded.

The change means that, from Spring 2021, non-recyclable waste collections will switch from once a week to every two weeks at street-level properties in Hackney — generally houses, or houses that have been converted into flats and currently have green sack recycling services.

These households will keep weekly recycling and food waste collections, to encourage people to recycle as much as possible and reduce the amount of waste sent for incineration. The changes will not affect estates or blocks of flats.

The 15 London boroughs that have already implemented fortnightly collections in order to meet targets set in the Mayor of London’s environment strategy — which all London councils are signed up to — have seen increases in their recycling rates.

If these increases were replicated in Hackney, around 4500 tonnes of waste — the equivalent of the waste contained in 450 bin lorries — would be recycled instead of incinerated every year.

Recent analysis of waste thrown away in the borough showed that over 55% of the waste thrown away was recyclable — with food, paper, garden waste and glass commonly found in people’s bins.

As part of the change to fortnightly waste collections, the Council will give every household a 180 litre wheeled bin — double the size of a standard round dustbin, giving households a maximum of 5-6 black bin bags worth of space every fortnight.

In line with all other London boroughs that have introduced fortnightly collections, households will only be permitted to use the space in this bin for non-recyclable waste in an effort to encourage households to recycle more using their weekly green sack and blue bin food waste collections.

In consultation, 39% of respondents supported the proposals, while 52% did not support the proposals — with predominant concerns among residents focussed on smell and health, vermin and overflowing bins. Those in larger households were also less likely to support the proposal.

To address these concerns, the Council is giving each household a wheeled bin — which, coupled with predicted increases in food recycling rates, will help to improve hygiene and reduce vermin. In the consultation, 59% of people wanted the Council to provide a bin if the proposals went ahead.

In response to the concerns of those in larger households, the Council will also make more bin space available to households with more than four people, subject to an assessment carried out by the Council’s recycling team.

With fewer overall waste collections, it’s also expected that there will be reduced traffic disruption and fewer emissions generated from waste vehicles.

The Council will introduce the fortnightly collections in Spring 2021. 

Residents can find out more about the proposals and order additional green recycling sacks and blue food waste bins at www.hackney.gov.uk/fortnightly-waste

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