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Bexley launches Green Points recycling scheme to 17,000 flats
From left to right: Cllr Gareth Bacon, Recycling Ricky and Green Points founder Graham Simmonds with pupils from Pearswood Primary school.
Bexley has been showing off its green credentials with the launch of an ambitious recycling scheme. Reporter TIM MACFARLAN finds out more.
Earlier this month Bexley posted the best household recycling figures of any London borough in a report released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Stats show Bexley recycles nearly 54 per cent of all household waste - top in the capital - and 48 per cent of total waste.
The council is now living up to its name of greenest borough in London by unveiling its London Green Points plan.
The aim is to encourage all residents of the borough’s 17,000 purpose built flats to recycle more of their household waste.
Participants pick up points according to recycling levels in their neighbourhood which can be donated to charity projects or spent in an online Green Shop on treats such as itunes downloads.
The rates are calculated every quarter and points distributed to all Green Points members in a given area, with every 400 points worth £1.
Bexley Council cabinet member for environment and public realm Councillor Gareth Bacon was joined by Peareswood Primary School pupils in promoting the venture outside the Mambocino Café in Erith Riverside Shopping Centre.
Green Points participants get a green card when they sign up and the retailer is one of more than 60 in Bexley to offer discounts and special offers to holders.
DJ Neil ‘Doctor’ Fox has praised the scheme first piloted in October last year in 2,000 flats in east Thamesmead.
The Green Points ambassador was meant to attend the Erith launch but his Harley Davidson motorcycle broke down on his way there.
The Magic FM host said: "We all know we have to recycle more and it’s time for more carrot and less stick.
"Our scheme is an opportunity for Londoners to get involved in a simple, effective way that benefits both themselves and their community.
"It’s a win-win for Bexley and as we roll out to new areas it has the potential to make a clear and discernible change to London."
London Mayor Boris Johnson praised the scheme which has awarded more than 1.6m Green Points to east Thamesmead residents and 340,000 to a trio of charities: Thamesmead Youth Voice, Trees for Cities and MyBnk.
He said: "The London Green Points scheme is great, offering residents the chance for community investment in return for recycling.
"I have always been a huge enthusiast for this kind of scheme which revolutionises the way people think about waste and recycling."
Recycling levels in tonnes from April 2011 to March 2012
Total household waste: 95,832
Household waste sent for recycling/composting/reuse: 51,321
London top three:
Bexley- 54 per cent
Bromley- 50 percent
Harrow- 48 per cent
Total waste recycled: 57,030
London top three:
Kingston: 48.3 per cent
Bexley: 47.9 per cent
Richmond: 44 per cent
Non-household total waste: 23,018
Non-household waste sent for recycling/composting/reuse: 5,709
Percentage: 25 (10th in London)