The service, which was set up by Positively Putney in partnership with the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), will aim to boost recycling rates and improve air quality on Putney High Street.

Currently staffed by two cyclists, Putney Pedals will use a cargo bike to carry out waste collections for local businesses and retailers.

These businesses will be able to recycle waste, including mixed recycling, glass, paper, cardboard, food and general waste, at a reduced cost thanks to subsidies provided by Positively Putney and LWARB.

Positively Putney is a non-profit organisation funded and led by Putney-based businesses, while LWARB is a partnership between the Mayor of London and the London boroughs to improve waste and resource management.

The waste collected by e-bike will be taken to a council-owned storage space located just off Putney High Street, from which it will be collected by commercial recycling company Paper Round and processed at various treatment facilities across the country.

Putney Pedals has outlined benefits of the e-bike collection service to include: reduced emissions, as only one vehicle will be required per day to collect waste from the storage unit; increased recycling rates, as local businesses will be incentivised by lower recycling costs; and flexible waste collections, both in terms of collection times and access to off-street waste storage, which will keep business waste off the street.

Toby Lewin-Lloyd, Chair of Positively Putney Business Improvement District, said: “This project has taken a while to come to fruition – but it’s been worth the wait. We were well aware of the issues that our local businesses faced, and knew we needed to find a solution that worked for them and for the neighbourhood as a whole.

“This new scheme is a huge improvement on the current set-up and has the added benefit of helping reduce damaging air pollution around the high street. I’m certain that local traders will welcome being free from collection headaches so that they can concentrate on running their businesses.”

Sarah Craddock, Commercial Waste Manager at LWARB, said: “LWARB is excited to be part of this partnership, which has a double environmental dividend of improving recycling and reducing air pollution.

“There are a number of excellent waste consolidation schemes across the capital, but this is unique for its innovative approach to collection which offers benefits to businesses as well as the wider community. We’re hoping to show it’s a model that could be adopted more widely as part of London’s green recovery.”

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