Kingston trashes previous recycling records

New figures show that Kingston has broken its previous recycling records, with 49.4%* of its waste recycled between April 2018 and March 2019.

High recycling rates across the borough have continued, reaching 52% between April and July this year. This represents the highest rate of recycling on record for Kingston.

The amount of waste sent to landfill or energy recovery reduced by 3% last year - representing around 900 tonnes - and residents recycled and composted 1,200 tonnes more than the year before. Not only is this better for the environment, it has also meant avoiding costs of around £200,000 in total.

Despite these record breaking numbers for the borough, we know we can do more. A study of what goes in Kingston’s household bins showed that more than half of what still goes to waste - mostly food - could have been easily recycled instead. Food waste is collected every week from homes in the borough and sent on to a plant in Surrey where it is turned into compost and electricity, bringing significant environmental and financial benefits. A video explaining the process has been made by the South London Waste Partnership.

Cllr Hilary Gander, Portfolio Holder for Environment & Sustainable Transport, said: 

This is an excellent achievement which highlights our commitment as a borough to encourage everyone to reduce, reuse and recycle. I wish to thank all our residents for their support so far and would encourage everyone to do their bit. 

We know we can do more and will continue to work hard to encourage and help our communities to recycle more. We know particularly that our food recycling rate could be even higher and this will be one of our areas of focus in the coming months. Cutting down on avoidable food waste, or composting at home has the greatest impact - if you don’t already do so, please order a food waste container for leftovers and start using it every week

As part of the council’s drive to reduce waste, it has recently installed a drinking fountain in the Ancient Marketplace to reduce single use plastics. Working with the Mayor of London, a further five are planned to be installed across the borough. The council will soon be separating recyclable items from the waste collected from litter bins and flytips, an initiative we're calling 'recycling-on-the-go', enabling us to further increase our recycling rates.

The council offers a wide range of recycling collection services for households. All plastic bottles, tubs and trays can be recycled along with items like aerosols and foil. A collection service for used clothing and shoes, along with small electrical appliances such as irons, toasters and kettles as well as household batteries is also offered - or can be taken to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre in larger quantities.

Residents who wish to find out more about the council’s waste and recycling service or would like to report an issue can visit