Waste collection crew at work returning two recycling bins after emptying them into the bin truck

Helping boroughs reduce waste and recycle more

ReLondon is a partnership of the Mayor of London and London’s boroughs – so local authorities are a critical partner in everything we do. We work with boroughs to explore, test and roll out initiatives designed to reduce the city’s waste footprint; reinvigorate the recycling of food, plastics, textiles and more; and embed circular practices and innovation to improve how we live and work.

How can ReLondon help?

Our experts work with boroughs to help London live sustainably by reducing waste and recycling more. We champion smart, cost efficient initiatives that deliver transformational change at a local and city-wide level – providing expert, practical advice, toolkits and campaigns on how to reduce waste, maximise recycling and improve residents’ engagement with local collections and facilities. Typically our core work includes:

  • Supporting service changes (including new food waste or other new materials collections, or changes to collection frequency)
  • Helping boroughs reduce waste through resident engagement and communications, connecting boroughs with circular innovations and businesses, and building partnerships
  • Increasing recycling from flats
  • Improving recycling quality and reducing contamination
  • Creating London-wide campaigns for boroughs to get involved with, such as Repair Week or plastics recycling campaigns
  • Providing communications advice, training, assets and toolkits to help boroughs engage residents more effectively
  • Increasing commercial recycling rates and helping boroughs grow their commercial recycling services
  • Running research and pilots to build London-wide insights, capacity and skills
  • Supporting boroughs in the delivery of their Reduction and Recycling Plans
  • Helping boroughs to maintain and communicate core services during difficult periods

Evidence and experience show that the way your waste and recycling collections are designed and delivered has a significant impact on local recycling rates, as well as cost and resident satisfaction. We provide insights and support – both operational and communications – to boroughs choosing to change their services to achieve higher recycling performance; and help them engage with residents to achieve positive waste behaviours.

If you’re thinking about changing your collections and would like expert advice on how to achieve a cost-effective but results-driven service, please get in touch.

Our award-winning London Recycles campaign was created to support all London boroughs in raising awareness and understanding about recycling collections across the capital. In recent years it has expanded to include waste prevention initiatives, including our first ever London Repair Week in 2020. Our sustainable fashion campaign targeted at 16–24-year-olds in London, Love Not Landfill, has also won awards for its pop-up charity shops, swapping events and schools engagement activity. Food waste prevention campaigns are also a regular part of our work.

We provide boroughs with direct communications support for service change and to increase food waste recycling; and provide capacity training on digital communications and campaign management for boroughs.

Take a look below and on our resources page at our communications materials, including COVID-19 information for residents, ‘One bin is rubbish’ campaign materials, plastics recycling and waste reduction messaging, and service communications materials.

Through innovative projects such as our flats recycling research with Peabody and six London councils, or deep-dives such as our insights work on the recycling motivations of young Londoners, we have built a body of knowledge and expertise to help London’s boroughs cut straight to the chase in their efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling.

Check out some of the highlights below, take a look at our resources page and sign up to our newsletter to find out more.

We work directly with individual London boroughs to help them develop their waste and recycling strategies, capitalise on commercial recycling opportunities and increase knowledge and capability to make service improvements.

To help meet the climate ambitions identified in London Councils’ Climate Change Action Plan we also collaborate with boroughs to identify localised circular economy opportunities and help them embrace them.

One-to-one support of this kind is provided on a cost recovery basis.

ReLondon’s programmes aim to save 126,000 tonnes of CO2e a year by 2025 and contribute 15% of the additional recycling needed to be on track to meet London’s recycling target of 65% by 2030.

Our local authority support work is designed to deliver against that recycling target, but also promotes waste prevention amongst residents and businesses and helps boroughs to become more circular in their own operations. This will contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions, including consumption-based emissions.

Read more in our business plan.

Local authority resources

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