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Veolia progresses with ‘street solution’ to coffee cups

By 27/04/2018News

VIDEO REPORT: Veolia, Westminster city council and the Heart of London Business Alliance, talk about the progress of their scheme to collect and recycle coffee cups in the West End of London.

“Tens of thousands” of coffee cups have been collected since the launch of a new recycling scheme by Veolia in parts of central London last month.

The ‘Good-to-go’ coffee cup recycling scheme was launched by Veolia in March, in partnership with Westminster city council and the Heart of London Business Alliance (see story).

A video report on Veolia’s coffee cups recycling scheme launched in parts of the West End, in partnership with Westminster city council and the Heart of London Business Alliance

The scheme sees Westminster street-sweepers become ‘mobile coffee cup recycling points’, operating a separate bin exclusively for people to dispose of coffee cups. There are also specialised on-street bins introduced to help people “do the right thing”.

Caroline Boidin, project manager, Veolia Westminster, explained how the scheme has been received well by the general public. “All our sweepers had great feedback, we’ve already collected tens of thousands of cups and we expect more,” she said.

West End

The scheme currently operates in the areas of Leicester Square, Piccadilly and Victoria where Veolia says there is a high foot-fall. If successful, the company said it could be rolled-out to other areas.

All of the coffee cups collected are taken to a Veolia hub in London where they undergo a further separation process to guarantee all rogue items have been removed. The recycled material is then sent to a paper mill.

Welcoming the scheme, Jarno Stet, waste and recycling manager at Westminster city council, said: “Improving environmental performance and especially recycling more difficult to recycle materials is extremely important for Westminster city council. With Veolia and Heart of London Business Alliance we found the ideal partners to push this scheme forward and offer it to recycle coffee cups from the public, as well as local businesses.”

The scheme uses ‘mobile coffee cup recycling points’ and separate on-street bins exclusively for coffee cups

The Heart of London Business Alliance serves as a voice for 500 local businesses and property owners in the Piccadilly & St James’s and Leicester Square areas. Area manager, Christina Wells, said Heart of London are “delighted” to be working with Veolia and Westminster city council on the project, and she encouraged local businesses to use the scheme.


Coffee cups have been in the spotlight in recent weeks. The news follows an announcement by Costa last week that it is committing itself to recycling the same volume of cups it puts onto the market and pledging to recycle up to 500 million coffee cups a year by 2020 (see story). Veolia is one of five waste management companies named by Costa as being involved in the project.

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