REDBRIDGE is still lagging behind dozens of other boroughs in its efforts to meet government recycling targets, with some residents concerned over the fact that the council doesn't accept card in its weekly collections.

Figures from the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show that homes in Redbridge recycled or composted 26 percent of their waste in 2008/09 – barely half of the government's 50 percent London-wide by 2020.

Redbridge is ranked 23rd of the 33 London boroughs, with Bexley leading the way at 51 percent, having already met its target a decade ahead of schedule.

The borough is one of only four in London where the council does not accept card in home collections, along with Barking and Dagenham, Brent, and Kensington and Chelsea.

Residents in Wanstead have had blue paper recycling bins outside their homes for the past year, as part of a trial scheme to see if the rest of the borough would benefit.

However, these aren't for the collection of card – such as cereal boxes – as the council takes the bins to a facility which cannot process such material.

Wanstead and Woodford Friends of the Earth activist Anne Williams said that the Redbridge Sustainability Forum – which comprises interested group such as Fairtrade Redbridge and the local group of the London Wildlife Trust – is set to campaign for the inclusion of card and cardboard in household collections.

Mrs Williams, 73, of Gordon Road in Wanstead, said: “The forum is going to be lobbying the council on the issue of card collection, because it's the one big omission from the service at the moment.

“We all produce card from things like food packaging and boxes so it makes no sense not to have it collected, especially when so many other boroughs do.”

Anny Wortley-Millek, 59, of Forest Approach in Woodford Green, said: “Card recycling would be really good as it's amazing how much you generate even in a week or so.

“It's used in everything, from cereal boxes to cat food, and all sorts. We religiously put our in a big bin and then take it to a recycling centre, but I've often thought that if people don't feel like it or aren't able to take it somewhere probably just stick it in the bin with the rest of their rubbish.”

A Redbridge Council spokeswoman said: “Up until this point, we have not been able to accept card in the door-to-door recycling scheme as our reprocessor does not accept a mixture of card and paper (co-mingled) and at present we do not have the technology to separate the paper from the card once collected.

“Recently, however, we have agreed with our waste disposal authority to begin a trial collection of co-mingled card and paper in parts of Monkhams and south Ilford starting in July. The success of this trial will determine whether it can be rolled out to other areas of the borough.”