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Facts about London Recycling

Recycling Facts

Currently, just over 13% of Londoners' rubbish is recycled. To meet UK and international legislation, this needs to be increased to 30% by 2010 and 33% by 2015.

The largest landfill site in Greater London will be full in less than 5 years.

78% of Londoners now have a recycling collection from their homes. This is up from 57% in 2001/2. In a recent survey 70% of Londoners said that it is 'convenient' for them to personally recycle their household waste.

Two-thirds of households indicate they could do more recycling if provided with the right kind of help.

London's households produce enough waste to fill an Olympic swimming pool every single hour. This means that every 10 days enough rubbish is produced to fill Canary Wharf Tower.

The average London household produces a tonne of rubbish every year that's the equivalent weight of a family car.

Londoners produce 3.4 million tonnes of waste a year.

Key European targets: reductions in the amount of biodegradable municipal waste landfilled to 75% of the 1995 level by 2010, 50% by 2013 and 35% by 2020.

On average, every family in the UK uses around 330 glass bottles and jars each year - but we only recycle 30% of them.

Every UK citizen uses the equivalent of 240 steel cans a year.

Why recycle more? And what is recycling?

Recycling takes things that are old and unwanted and makes them into something new. Some things can be made back into the same item and others into something totally different. For instance, glass bottles can be recycled and made into new bottles, whereas plastic drink cups can now be made into pencils and plastic bottles into fleece jackets.

What happens to your recycling?

Once you have put your recyclables out for collection, or taken them to the recycling site, they will be picked up and taken for sorting into the different materials or bulked into large quantities ready for transporting to the reprocessors. They are then turned into another material e.g. crushed glass and chipped plastic. This material is then used by manufacturers to make new products. These new products can then be found on shop shelves for you to buy.

Can I do more?

Recycling is just one way to reduce the amount of rubbish being thrown away. Here are a few other things you can do to help reduce London's rubbish:

Reuse things - Use jam jars to store pens, think about either selling unwanted items or giving them to charity, or friends and family, rip up old shirts for dusters, make playthings for children and use plastic water bottles to protect seedlings in the garden.

Think about what you buy - Try and choose products with packaging you can recycle. Buying products that are more concentrated, using refills for household items, buying products in bulk, and avoiding disposable products, will all cut down on London's waste.

Buy recycled products - Look out for products made from recycled materials as this will help to create further demand for the materials you recycle. Recycled products you can buy include mouse mats made from recycled tyres, pencils made from plastic vending cups and toilet paper and kitchen roll made from recycled paper.

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