Recycling rubbish and reuse

Introduction to recycling and rubbish services in Camden

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We are committed to becoming the most sustainable borough in London by 2025, recycling as much as possible and ensuring our environment is protected not only for the present, but also for future generations.

Research shows that 85% of the waste produced by an average Camden resident is recyclable, but in 2016, only around 25% of waste was being recycled.  

In 2017 we changed the way we provide waste and recycling services in order to meet our ambitious target of 40% recycling by 2020, whilst reducing the annual cost of the service by £5 million. Our waste, recycling and other environmental services are provided by our specialist partner, Veolia

Together, Camden Council and Veolia are committed to creating a cleaner, greener Camden, but we can’t do it without the help of residents, businesses and visitors to the borough.  

Below are details of our approach, our services, and your responsibilities.

1.1 What approach does Camden take to environmental services?

Camden has four priorities for its environmental services:

  • Managing Camden’s local environmental quality to an agreed standard
  • Minimising rubbish and maximising participation in reuse and recycling
  • Generating additional surplus from business recycling and waste services
  • Increasing local employment opportunities and local economic development. 

We are focusing on the outcomes we want, including increased recycling rates, less fly-tipping and less contamination of recycling bins, rather than a prescriptive list of tasks such as cleaning a particular street every Tuesday.

Our environmental services contract with Veolia will be in place until 2024, with the potential for an eight-year extension. We need to ensure Camden has a modern, innovative and recycling-led waste management solution. 

Engaging and incentivising residents is vital to keep Camden clean and to meet our recycling targets. The Camden Recycling Rewards scheme  provides benefits for you and your communities for your efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. The more you do, the more money you can win for local charities and community projects and the more chance you’ll have of winning vouchers for yourself. 

1.2 Challenges for Camden’s environmental services

Camden is a very diverse borough with a varied housing stock and wide levels of income disparity. Flats, maisonettes and apartments account for around 85% of Camden’s accommodation and these present more challenges for residents and collection teams as there is usually limited space for housing waste and recycling. Furthermore, Camden is home to the largest student population in London, with more than 17,500 higher education students living in rented accommodation in the borough, often moving every year. Camden also receives over 400,000 daily visitors and commuters to the borough, coming not only to work but also to visit the borough’s many attractions and a thriving cultural and night time economy. 

Finally, there is also the backdrop of significant funding cuts across all Council services following cuts to central government grants since 2010-11. By 2019 Camden’s budget will have been reduced by £171 million.

1.3 Household recycling and rubbish  collections

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to collection of household rubbish and recycling across Camden. We have designed our service to be tailored to the individual circumstances of each property, whilst reducing the number of trucks on our road, which limits traffic congestion and improves air quality. 

To find out when your rubbish and recycling are collected, use this online address checker

Around a third of Camden’s households - those with sufficient storage space - will have fortnightly collections of non-recyclable rubbish. This saves the council money, and is proven to increase recycling rates. If you make full use of your recycling and food waste bin, you should have enough room to store your general rubbish over two weeks. 

Estates in Camden are serviced by weekly collections of communal waste and recycling bins. 

We will only collect rubbish placed out for collection in a bin or bag provided by Camden Council. You can take any extra rubbish to our local recycling sites at Regis Road or Hornsey Street.  If you have bulky waste, a particularly large load or old ‘white goods’, for example fridges or washing machines, a special collection can be organised

In addition to general recycling and food waste, we also provide free collections for other recyclable items including batteries, textiles and small electrical goods - please email uk.occamden@veolia.com or call 020 3567 8105 to request a special bag for these items and then leave them next to your other recycling.

Garden waste collections in Camden are a paid-for, subscription service

1.4 Business Recycling and waste

While general household recycling and rubbish services are provided to households free of charge, businesses must pay for the proper disposal of their waste and recycling. Pay-as-you-go or contract services are available from a variety of suppliers. Businesses who illegally dump their rubbish in Camden can expect enforcement action to be taken against them, including stiff fines. 

1.5 Environment Services contract documents 

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