As anyone living in London knows, it's only people like me these days that buy daily newspapers. Most people make do with the daily free sheets of which there are now three. The Metro (in the morning) and the London Lite and the London Paper in the evening.
As you can imagine these cause quite a lot of rubbish in the Tube and buses as people have a tendancy to leave them for the next person to read. According to TfL and the Mayor, the total weight of newspaper left on the Tube alone each week day is between ten and twelve tonnes.
What happens to all this paper is a little bit of a mystery. Obviously you'd expect, given the Mayor's "imppecable" green credentials it would all be collected and recycled, but I called TfL and asked and was told by a rather timid lady that the "majority of it gets binned". She suggested I email in for a more precise answer.
This does seem likely as another person I spoke to said that the cleaning contractors simply litter pick the trains at each end of the line, and then bin the bags when they're full. TfL/LUL's distribution services then pick up the bins from stations, and to this person's knowledge do not separate but instead send straight to land fill.
Should anyone be wondering what happens on the buses, the Mayor doesn't know as it's up to the companies that run them. So much for Livingstone's "green" strategy. I wonder if TfL would get fined for not recylcing like ordinary people might?