Recycling and rubbish

Tackling the smell from the Waste and Recycling Centre

What happens in the Waste Recycling Centre (WRC)

The WRC is a 24-hour facility in Islington that:

  • manages the transfer of waste
  • operates a Reuse and Recycling Centre
  • undertakes the Councils statutory operations and
  • provides accommodation for Council staff

Who operates out of the WRC and why?

Waste transfer operations are run by North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and London Energy who provide sustainable energy, recycling and resource management on behalf of seven London Boroughs.

These operations and the management of the WRC building can occasionally cause odours which concern residents and businesses in and around the area.

Tackling the smell from the WRC

We know that the smell from the WRC in Cottage Road has been unpleasant recently, due to the very hot weather. Please accept our apologies, as we know that the bad smell can affect residents who live nearby.

Following a community meeting on 25 July 2018 and resident feedback we have been working on an action plan to reduce the smell and address your concerns. Here are some of the ways we are tackling the issue and our progress:

  • We are cleaning our vehicles more frequently, and cleaning our centre and our equipment thoroughly and more regularly to help combat bad smells.
  • We are cleaning the entrance to the WRC and the surrounding area more often. We have carried out a deep clean to clear litter and remove chewing gum and have installed better waste and recycling bins near the Caledonian Road tube. We are also sweeping the streets more often to help keep them tidy.
  • We have introduced a new system to help reduce smells. This system treats the air at the recycling centre by spraying a fine mist of water and a harmless chemical that breaks down the particles that cause bad smells. We have been using a temporary system but will be replacing it with a more permanent one so we can better manage this problem in future.
  • In addition, we are carrying out a full, comprehensive review - looking at our building and the equipment we use and how we work, including with external partners - to see if we can do anything else to reduce odours from the centre. 
  • We have also reminded our staff to be considerate about smoking, and speaking loudly near local homes. If you have any complaints, please email us, giving as much detail as possible so we can investigate.

We hope that our actions so far have helped to reduce the smell and will continue to do so. There is more information available in our FAQs however, if you have any more queries, concerns, comments or suggestions, or would like to be kept up to date on progress, please email or call Contact Islington on 020 7527 2000. 

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