London Recycling Rates: Best and Worst Boroughs Revealed

London recycles 33% of waste—far less than the national average of 43%—which makes it the worst region in England for recycling. Ministers are under pressure to support EU targets of 55% of household waste recycled by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035. London in particular will need a massive push to improve recycling rates.

Best London Boroughs for Recycling

The best five boroughs for recycling in 2018-19 were Bexley, Ealing, Bromley, Kingston upon Thames, and Sutton. These areas recycled at least 49% of waste, with Bexley topping the charts with a 54% recycle rate.

Chart showing which areas in London have the best recycling rates

The best areas of London are still far behind other areas of England. For example, there are a dozen other councils in England with recycle rates of at least 60%. And the best local authority for recycling household waste in England, East Riding of Yorkshire, has recycled nearly 65% of household waste for the past 3 years. This council already meets the proposed 2035 recycling targets, putting them 15 years ahead of schedule.

Worst London Boroughs for Recycling

The worst five boroughs in 2018-19 for recycling were Newham, Westminster City, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham and Hammersmith and Fulham. These areas recycled less than a quarter of waste.

Chart showing which areas in London have the worst recycling rates

With an average rate of 33% across London and a dozen boroughs reporting recycling rates under 30% for 2018/19, London has a lot of improvement to make to hit recycling targets. To quantify the challenge ahead, London boroughs would, on average, need to gain 2 percentage points in terms of household waste that is recycled in each year between 2020 and 2035 to meet a goal of 65% recycled by 2035.

FAQs

Bexley is the London borough with the best household recycling rate: 54%. Ealing is a close second with 53% of household waste being recycled each year.
Newham is the London borough with the worst household recycling rate: 17%. Newham is not just the worst in London; they have the lowest recycling rate in all of England.

Data

Here is the data for London from www.gov.uk used to determine the best and worst local areas for recycling. The list is sorted alphabetically so you can find your local area and see how it ranks and compares to the rest of London and England.

Rank in London (33=worst)Rank in England (345 is worst)CouncilTotal Household Waste (tonnes)Tonnes sent for recycling, compost, reuse% of Household Waste Recycled
29337Barking and Dagenham86,07220,39124%
14270Barnet140,31648,57835%
146Bexley99,51653,86554%
12248Brent94,32634,54837%
381Bromley119,92660,07350%
19299Camden56,80717,65231%
21307City of London3,8181,14030%
6111Croydon127,94660,56647%
256Ealing81,36942,77853%
16281Enfield118,44939,56233%
15280Greenwich107,05235,76533%
25319Hackney83,65823,36428%
28336Hammersmith and Fulham47,07511,18424%
22310Haringey81,40223,83929%
8207Harrow89,64036,05640%
10244Havering102,20438,25637%
11247Hillingdon99,80236,58337%
18297Hounslow85,93026,95531%
23314Islington55,53916,10429%
26324Kensington and Chelsea52,81714,23927%
489Kingston upon Thames61,21930,24949%
20306Lambeth80,96624,40030%
24318Lewisham96,77527,10828%
9230Merton70,25827,05239%
33345Newham120,30920,37417%
27331Redbridge106,12826,40425%
7176Richmond upon Thames75,10031,91042%
13264Southwark110,43138,83935%
590Sutton72,60435,62549%
30340Tower Hamlets73,91717,17623%
17294Waltham Forest97,28430,72732%
31341Wandsworth94,84021,99923%
32343Westminster City Council91,07619,77922%
London Average33%
England Average43%

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