door to door collections in the City of London

City of London: Door to door collections of food and dry recycling from flats
Recycling collection arrangements for dry and food waste from flats
The first door to door recycling collection started on the Barbican Estate in 2002 for dry recycling
and was carried out by the cleaning staff. The scheme was expanded to cover the Golden Lane
Estate, Mansell Street Estate and Middlesex Street Estate in 2005.
The food waste collection scheme started as a 13-week pilot on the Middlesex Street estate in
October 2006 and this was expanded to the Mansell Street and the Golden Lane estates in 2007.
In 2008 it was further expanded to the Barbican Estate. Following on the success of the food waste
collection service on these estates, the service was extended to privately managed blocks of flats
that have bin stores.
The Golden
The City of London is a unique authority with just
6,120 households. It is the oldest authority in
the country, operating on a non-party political
basis. Over 60% of residents in the City live in
single person households with almost 10% of
households not in use as a main residence
compared to 0.51% for London as a whole. The
Council have reported that this brings challenges
in terms of communicating with residents who
use properties more like hotel rooms than homes.
It also bring perceived barriers to recycling, for
example anecdotal feedback from residents is
that they eat out a lot so do not produce enough
waste to warrant recycling it.
According to Census data, 82% of households are
within purpose built blocks of flats. There are
three Council-run estates comprised entirely of
blocks of flats: Barbican (1,985 households),
Golden Lane (565 households), and Middlesex
Street (198 households), and one housing
association estate, Mansell Street (Guinness
Trust, 194 households). There are also a number
of privately managed blocks of flats.
Dry recycling
Food waste
and future
Case Study
page 1
City of London: Door to door collections of food and dry recycling from flats
Door to door collection scheme for dry recyclable
Dry recycling and food waste set out for collection
The City of London operates a co-mingled “clear sack”
recycling service for aerosols, aluminium foil, glass bottles and
jars, paper and cardboard, cans, cartons, paper, plastic
bottles, plastic containers and plastic wrappings.
Households included on the door to door collection scheme
have a twice weekly collection which is carried out by
Enterprise MRS, the waste collection contractor, with the
exception of the Barbican, where cleaning staff collect
recycling from the doorstep five times a week.
One dedicated member of the Enterprise crew collects the
recycling using an adapted roll pallet trolley. On the Barbican
estate, a trolley is also used for collection by the concierge.
The materials collected are bulked in 1100 litre bins on site
which can also used as recycling bring banks by residents to
supplement the door to door collections. The bulk containers
are then serviced by RCV’s as part of the scheduled
household collections.
Delivery arrangements for clear sacks vary from block to block
and arrangements include:
• A one to one replacement. Operatives leave new sacks in
place of those set out
• Blanket deliveries. Deliveries are arranged by the Council
every six months
• On request deliveries. Residents can request a delivery of
sacks by contacting the City of London
• Collection points: Residents can collect sacks from estate
offices or City libraries
Scheme variations
All residents within the City have a dry recycling collection scheme,
although, to cater for the different housing stock, various collection
arrangements exist:
• Properties without a bin store (e.g. flats in commercial
properties): a night time door to door recycling service operates
five days a week (Monday to Friday) in conjunction with street
• Properties with a bin store: have recycling bins in the bin store
and residents place their clear sacks in the recycling bins;
• Privately managed properties: the service varies from block to
block and is dependant on the managing organisation
• Remaining blocks of flats: a door to door recycling collection
operates for most blocks of flats
back : forward
Dry recycling
Food waste
and future
Case Study
page 2
City of London: Door to door collections of food and dry recycling from flats
Door to door collection scheme for food waste
Flats with the food waste collection scheme are provided with a 5 litre vented caddy
and compostable liners. A 10 litre solid side caddy and compostable liners or an extra
5 litre vented caddy are available to households upon request. All food waste
(including meat) is accepted for collection.
A trolley used to dry recycling with drawers for food waste
The roll pallet trolley used to collect the dry recyclable materials has been adapted to
collect food waste as well. Drawers have been added at the bottom of the pallet for
the bagged food waste. These are then emptied into 240 litre wheeled food waste
bins which are stored in the same area as the 100 litre bins for recycling and are
collected using an RCV. Food waste is collected at the same time as dry recycling i.e.
five times weekly on the Barbican estate and twice weekly on the other estates that
receive a collection.
The RCV’s transport the food waste to Bexley Council’s recycling centre in Crayford,
South London where it is bulked with green and food waste collected in Bexley. The
material is then sent to County Mulch in Ipswich for composting. City of London pay
a gate fee of £80 per tonne.
5 litre vented
kitchen caddy with
back : forward
Food waste
Dry recycling
and future
Case Study
page 3
City of London: Door to door collections of food and dry recycling from flats
The Council has employed a variety of communications tools to promote
the dry recycling scheme and food waste collection scheme including:
articles in the local press, attendance at residents’ meetings, door to door
canvassing (including English/Bengali speaking canvassers), information on
the website, school visits, mail drops etc. To provide residents with
feedback on their participation in the food waste service, reminder cards
are posted through the letter boxes of households who are not using the
service properly (e.g. presenting contamination, liners not tied up etc.).
Pictorial guidance for using the food waste scheme which
forms part of a food waste leaflet
Since some blocks of flats have a high population of non-English speaking
Bangladeshi residents dual-language leaflets have been developed by the
authority. Pictorial communication materials are also used to communicate
how the scheme should be used.
Tips for using the food waste scheme which forms
part of a food waste leaflet
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Dry recycling
Food waste
and future
Case Study
page 4
City of London: Door to door collections of food and dry recycling from flats
Performance of the dry recycling scheme
Changes to the collection arrangements
The dry recycling door to door collection scheme appears to be one of the
best performing systems for which WRAP has data for, collecting 4.25
kilograms of recycling per household per week. This relatively high
performance may be partly due to the frequency of collection; most other
systems for which data is available provide collections once per week.
Following participation monitoring undertaken in early 2012 the City of
London will be working with WRAP to identify how deliveries of dry
recycling and food waste liners could be improved.
A re-launch of the food waste scheme is being considered for privately
managed blocks of flats. This would focus on refurbishing recycling sites
and literature.
With the expansion of the food waste scheme to cover all households,
residents on the Golden Lane and Middlesex Street estates no longer
receive one for one replacement clear sacks for dry recyclables, as this
has proved to slow the collection time. Residents are now receiving
deliveries every six months, or are able to collect replacement sacks
from the estate office.
Following fire safety inspections, the City of London concluded that in
blocks of flats where there is only one means of escape and where
sacks were placed in a communal single escape route leading to the
escape staircase, door to door collections of dry recyclables needed to
be discontinued. This lead to the door to door collection scheme being
withdrawn from 20 flats in Guinness Court and replaced with a bring
bank mini-recycling centre located outside the block of flats.
Participation rates measured during 2012 range between 55% and 82% in
different blocks indicating that the majority of residents are using the
Contamination is low with very few recycling containers being rejected due
to contamination. Feedback from the Materials Recovery Facility indicates
that the contamination rate for dry recycling is 5%.
A small scale survey carried out in 2009 on residents in Shakespeare
Tower (part of the Barbican Estate) identified that 62% of the 68
residents responding to the survey claimed to use the food waste scheme.
Performance of the food waste scheme
Monitoring carried out on all four estates in the City of London in 2012
shows that:
• participation in the scheme varies between 12%-39%
• approximately 31 kilograms per household per year of food waste is
• contamination is minimal
Dry recycling
Food waste
and future
back : forward
Case Study
page 5
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