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Success of Britain's first mandatory recycling scheme

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Recycling has increased by nearly half in the first borough to introduce a mandatory scheme.

Barnet LBC introduced the UK’s first compulsory recycling scheme three years ago tomorrow.

Figures released today show that an extra 16,000 tonnes of waste has been recycled since that date. The increase equals a 45% increase in the volume of waste recycled compared to the three years prior to the introduction of the scheme.

Under Barnet’s scheme residents have to put paper, glass bottles and jars, food tins and drink cans into their black boxes instead of their rubbish bins.

Recycling assistants check on residents participation in the scheme and if they find that people are not putting their boxes out they get in touch to make sure people know what they are supposed to be doing. The council can then take further action if necessary.

As well as the items that must be recycled, residents can also put in their box aerosols, car batteries, engine oil, aluminium foil, household batteries, mobile phones, shoes, textiles and Yellow Pages.

Cabinet member for environment and transport Matthew Offord (Con) claimed that the scheme has been a “roaring success”.

“The introduction of the scheme three years ago can be seen as a landmark in stopping rubbish in Barnet ending up as landfill. Barnet was the first council in the UK to introduce such a scheme. Many other local authorities across the UK - including six in London - are now following Barnet's lead and introducing their own similar schemes.”

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