The long term benefits of schemes which reward households for recycling are uncertain according to a new report by the London Assembly.
Assembly Members say just a third of waste in the capital is recycled, relegating the capital to the bottom of the national league table.
The figures contrast poorly with the Mayor’s target of 45% of household waste to recycled by 2015.
Although AMs note recline has improved in areas which introduced schemes which penalise those who fail to recycle and reward those who do, the report questions whether a single solution could work across the capital.
The Assembly warns that the number of flats in the capital, combined with London’s “transient population” could affect the success of such incentive schemes.
The report says communicating the benefits of recycling and the need to manage waste sustainably is a key requirement of a successful scheme.
It also warns that rewarding households based on the weight on rubbish they recycle “could have unintended consequences, for example individuals deliberately generating more waste to maximise their rewards.”
Darren Johnson, Deputy Chair of the Environment Committee said: “It is very encouraging that rates have improved so considerably in recent years, but there is much more to be done to cut down on London’s waste mountain.
“The capital does face unique challenges and it is clear that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Whatever method boroughs use to reduce waste must result in long-term changes if we are to avoid the unwanted economic and environmental consequences of sending tonnes of rubbish to landfill every year.”
The report can be downloaded from london.gov.uk