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Boris moves to overcome London tower block recycling fire risk

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:30 05 October 2010

TOWER blocks of flats may be redesigned to help tackle London’s rubbish mountain. Families in high rise housing can’t have recycle bins on their doorstep because of the fire danger, which brings London’s average recycling rates down to the worst in the country

By Mike Brooke

TOWER blocks of flats may be redesigned to help tackle London's rubbish mountain.

Families in high rise housing can't have recycle bins on their doorstep because of the fire danger.

That brings London's average recycling rates down to the worst in the country, especially in areas like the East End with huge concentrations of tower blocks.

So Boris Johnson has unveiled his new Waste Strategy plan this week which includes funds to adapt tall blocks with new waste collection points near doorways or to change rubbish chute designs.

"We must provide better collection facilities in flats and multi-occupancy dwellings," said Boris. "It's vital to unblock the remaining barriers to recycling, rather than simply chuck unwanted stuff in the bin."

East London has done particularly badly in the recycling league tables, with Tower Hamlets at the very bottom of any local authority in the country for two years running.

It has doubled its municipal recycling since 2007, but still faces the problem of tower blocks where recycling is impractical because of the fire risk.

Boris wants London to recycle at least 45 per cent by 2015 and even be able to stop sending municipal waste to landfill sites altogether by 2025.

London churns out four million tonnes of municipal waste every year. Its recycling rate is improving, but is still the lowest of all regions and compares badly with other international cities.


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