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North London residents cut their waste in half

Oct 15, 2008
Over 1,000 residents, schools and businesses cut their waste by up to 50 per cent as part of a week long waste prevention initiative designed to lower north London's carbon footprint.

Residents of all ages took part in the Watch Your Waste Challenge to cut their waste by reducing, reusing, recycling and composting as much as possible for one week.

The challenge was part of Watch Your Waste Week which ran from 4 - 12 October. The aim was to highlight the growing amount of rubbish being thrown away in the region and promote practical ways it can be reduced.

Jane Bailey, a north London resident, took part in the challenge and reduced her weekly rubbish down to just one plastic tag, she said: "I did have to put in quite a bit of extra effort to reduce my rubbish down to one plastic tag, but a lot of what I did was really simple.

"Thinking about what I needed to buy helped. I tried to avoid packaging on food. I bought meat from the deli counter and loose fruit and vegetables, instead of packaged."

As a result of the week nine out of ten Watch Your Waste challengers made lifestyle changes such as buying goods in less packaging, starting composting and using real nappies.

In addition to the challenge a number of information sharing events and activities were organised throughout the week, including give or take days which helped divert 5.5 tonnes of waste from landfill, the same weight as 12 cows!

The week also resulted in an additional 1,908 people signing up to the mailing preference service to avoid getting junk mail delivered1 and an additional 6,807 people becoming members of Freecycle2.

October also witnessed a 25 per cent increase in people signing up to real nappy schemes.

Watch Your Waste Week was organised by the North London Waste Authority, in partnership with the seven London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.

Chair of the North London Waste Authority, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said:

"This week was a great success and highlights north London's commitment to reducing the amount of waste we currently throw away.

"I would like to thank all those who took part in the challenge for their efforts."

The week forms part of a north London strategy which aims to divert 80,000 tonnes of waste away from landfill over the next two years.

- Ends -

Notes to Editors

1) Registering with the Mailing Preference Service stops junk mail being sent to people's homes. This is a free service and registration can be completed at

2) Freecycle is a way that people who have things they want to get rid of can find people who can use them.  Freecycle operates on the internet, membership is free and it is run at a local community level by volunteers. Freecycle has groups across north London and helps keep unwanted products out of the waste-stream by giving them a new life with a new owner.


The North London Waste Authority

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) was established in 1986 and is the waste disposal authority for Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest. This means its primary function is to arrange the transport and disposal of waste collected by these boroughs.  It is the second largest waste disposal authority in the country.