A council is hoping kids will use pester power to convince their parents to recycle more.

Enfield Council will work with young people and schools to promote more sustainable behaviour, amid concerns recycling rates in the borough and across London have begun to stall.

It is hoped youngsters will help change their parents’ behaviour and encourage them to recycle, deputy leader Cllr Ian Barnes told the first meeting of the environment and climate action scrutiny panel on Tuesday (September 8).

Enfield’s climate action plan, which was approved by cabinet in July, contains a target to recycle 65 to 75 per cent of the borough’s waste by the mid-2030s.

But during the meeting, shadow cabinet member for environment Cllr Lindsay Rawlings (Conservative, Town) said she thought recycling had recently declined across London and questioned whether the planned new Edmonton Incinerator would burn waste that could be recycled.

Cllr Barnes (Labour, Winchmore Hill), who is chair of the climate change task force, said: “We need to push up recycling. I am very keen for the young mayor and the deputy young mayor to become involved in this, pushing children to become educated in it and to push their parents (to recycle).

“I see that as quite a powerful channel – that we educate our children with regards to recycling so they can inform their parents, check what their parents are putting into the bins. That is one way we need to push recycling up.”

Doug Wilkinson, director of environment and operational services, said recycling levels across London are “much lower than everybody wants them to be”.

“The average across London is probably much less than 50 per cent – we are in the 30 per cents and are by no means the lowest recyclers,” he added.

Mr Wilkinson said the new Edmonton EcoPark facility will allow “much greater separation of materials” and provide many more opportunities for recycling.

“Recycling levels are plateauing and dropping across London,” he added. “They have been in Enfield for the last three years. This was one of the main drivers for introducing the new food waste collection, to increase the opportunities to recycle.

“It is very much a behavioural thing. We need to get into schools and educate children, to educate parents. It starts at the household – what people put out in the containers. We are absolutely committed to engaging people and supporting people to drive up that recycling rate.”

Under further questioning from councillors, Cllr Barnes said low-traffic neighbourhoods and school streets schemes would be key to reducing emissions from car use. The climate action plan aims to cut Enfield’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2040.

The panel is due to discuss the action plan in more detail at a meeting in February next year.