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Let’s clean up the East End, Tower Hamlets mayor urges public

PUBLISHED: 13:01 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:07 03 September 2018

Annual Thames clean up with washed up plastic bottles at the Isle of Dogs. Picture source: Thames 21

Annual Thames clean up with washed up plastic bottles at the Isle of Dogs. Picture source: Thames 21

Thames 21

Public events are being staged by Tower Hamlets Council to help clean up London’s East End.

Bywater's waste recycling plant at Bromley-by-Bow which Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs visited in January 2018. Picture source: LBTHBywater's waste recycling plant at Bromley-by-Bow which Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs visited in January 2018. Picture source: LBTH

The authority wants to reduce waste, increase recycling and improve air quality.

The public events run from Thursday while an online draft ‘waste strategy’ consultation has begun, leading to a waste summit next month with households, businesses and community groups.

Street litter is also one of the biggest public concerns. The mayor admits cleaning up the environment can only be done by changing the council’s own practices as well as those of supermarkets, manufacturers and households.

“Collecting the bins and keeping our streets clean are key services,” Mayor John Biggs said. ““Waste strategy is about getting it right about how we waste less.’’

Mayor John Biggs... “Waste strategy is about getting it right about how we waste less.’’ Picture: Mike BrookeMayor John Biggs... “Waste strategy is about getting it right about how we waste less.’’ Picture: Mike Brooke

The council suggests more recycling facilities on estates, including food waste, and lobbying supermarkets and manufacturers to use plastics that can be recycled.

The council collected 116,700 tonnes of waste last year alone, weighing as much as 9,000 double-decker buses, 70 per cent of which was not recycled.

Two thirds of plastic pots, tubs and trays are non-recyclable, a local government study has found.

Public events are at Bethnal Green Gardens on Thursday, 12-3pm, Whitechapel Market on September 12, 11am-2pm, Chrisp Street market in Poplar on September 22, 10.30am-2.30pm, and at the Ecology Pavilion in Mile End Park on September 26, 6-8pm.

The Don’t Let Our Future Go To Waste online consultation runs until October 5.

Tower Hamlets’ population is projected to increase by almost 60,000 in the next decade to 370,000, almost twice as fast as the London average. The number of East End households is likely to increase by another 30,000 by 2028, adding to pressure to improve recycling and reduce waste.

Rubbish was high on the mayor’s agenda on a fact-finding tour of the nine-acre Bywaters’ waste recycling plant at Bromley-by-Bow back in January to sort out what happens to the weekly council bin collections and recycling policy.

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