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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2006, 21:21 GMT
London's 'pitiful' recycling rate
Recycling box
Recycling schemes vary widely across the capital
London has the worst record for recycling waste in England, government figures have revealed.

The city recycles just 18% of its rubbish, compared to 33% achieved by both East and South West England.

Newham council in London has the lowest rate of recycling, at 6.23%, while Bexley recycles the highest proportion of its waste, 30.47%.

Twenty-nine out of 37 waste authorities have failed to meet their recycling targets, Mayor Ken Livingstone said.

Mr Livingstone has blamed the lack of a centralised city-wide system for the city's poor performance.

'Pitiful' rates

"We have too many waste authorities and there is no city-wide management of this important issue," Mr Livingstone said.

Darren Johnson, London Assembly Green Party Member said: "London's recycling rates are pitiful... Londoners clearly want to recycle more and to do their bit for the environment, but many local authorities are letting them down."

No centralised body oversees recycling across London, meaning services vary widely between different councils.

Mr Livingstone said he would soon be lobbying for "a single waste authority for London so that we can overcome the lack of a London-wide strategy to increase recycling."

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