News Walthamstow

Waltham Forest among first boroughs in London to recycle polystyrene

The borough is once again blazing a green trail
By Victoria Munro

Deputy leader Clyde Loakes celebrating the start of polystyrene recycling (credit: NLWA)
Deputy leader Clyde Loakes celebrating the start of polystyrene recycling (credit: NLWA)

Waltham Forest residents are now among the first in London ever to be able to recycle polystyrene.

This week the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), chaired by Waltham Forest Council’s deputy leader, started recycling polystyrene at its centre in South Access Road in Walthamstow.

Residents’ waste polystyrene, of which more than 10,000 tonnes is binned across the UK each year, will be reused as house insulation or turned into hard plastic for hangers, toys or frames.

NLWA chair Clyde Loakes said: “Expanded polystyrene is a challenging material to dispose of because it is extremely lightweight but also takes up a relatively large volume. 

Cllr Loakes celebrating the start of the new service this week (credit: NLWA)

“Up until now our only solution was to dispose of it through energy from waste (incineration), but this new recycling infrastructure will enable us to manage it efficiently and with less impact to the environment.

“While it’s essential that more is done to prevent waste in the first place, there remains an important role for recycling. NLWA and its partners continue to seek opportunities to manage resources in a more circular way and extract maximum value out of all the materials we receive.

“In our fight to tackle the Climate Emergency, we all have a part to play. We call on residents to make full use of the recycling services available to them, both at home and through local collection points.”

The centre started recycling polystyrene on 8th November. It follows the recent introduction of mattress recycling across north London, which saw 13,600 mattresses collected in 10 weeks.

To find out more information about your local recycling centre, visit the NLWA website or check what you can recycle here.