Questions have been raised as the council's recycling figures have stagnated leaving it in the bottom 100 authorities in the country.

Sutton Council had the 35th best recycling rate of 390 councils in the country at 25 per cent in 2003, according to official data.

Although the recycling rate has improved to 37 per cent since then, other councils, including several neighbouring authorities, have improved much faster leaving Sutton 254th out of 352 in recently released figures for 2012/13.

The figures show Croydon now recycles 44 per cent of its waste, Merton, which only recycled 15 per cent of its waste in 2003, now recycles 39 per cent and Kingston is among the best in the capital with 46 per cent of its waste being recycled.

Sutton's recycling rate peaked at 38 per cent in 2011 but then dipped to 37 per cent the following year and has remained steady since then.

The drop has prompted opposition Conservative Councillor Tim Crowley to ask questions about why there has been no improvement amid fears plans to build an incinerator in Beddington will cut recycling further.

At Monday's full council meeting Coun Crowley will ask: "Could the relevant lead member please explain the discrepancy between fact and the myth perpetuated by this council that we are one of the greenest boroughs in Britain when our recycling rates have slipped so markedly and we have fallen down the league tables as shown by figures from Defra from 154th in 2006/7 to 254th in 2012/13?

Sutton Guardian: Tim Crowley

Councillor Tim Crowley

"Is this why there is such a rush to incineration - to divert the eyes of local residents from the real facts?"

Sutton Council has defended its recycling rates saying it has cut costs and improved customer service.

Liberal Democrat Coun Colin Hall said: "The recycling performance for Sutton has remained constant over the last 3 years at around 37 per cent.

"During this time the service has reduced its costs by £3.4m, whilst at the same time improving customer satisfaction.

"Furthermore Sutton is bidding to the Department for Communities and Local Government to improve its recycling performance to over 40 per cent over the next 12 months."

He also said the planned incinerator in Beddington will not impact on recycling rates.


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