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The Mayor of London Pledges to Increase the Capital's Recycling Rate

The Mayor of London Pledges to Increase the Capital's Recycling Rate

The Mayor of London Pledges to Increase the Capital’s Recycling Rate

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has promised to increase the capital’s recycling rate from the current 33% to 42% and to send no biodegradable or recyclable waste to landfill by 2030. The pledge comes following the publication of a report on the city’s waste.

‘Wasting London’s Future’

The London Assembly Environment Committee published its report, “Wasting London’s Future,” which looked at the potential of a circular economy, the household recycling rate, and the potential to create energy from waste.

The consensus of the committee was that progress is being made but there is more to be done. A main point the report raises is that recycling has to be made easier for residents.


The findings of the report

  • Opportunities to reduce waste by recovering and re-using materials are not being taken.
  • London’s household recycling rate is far below the national average and it has barely budged in the last 5 years.
  • Residents want to recycle more, and it needs to be made easier for them. There is no consistency across different boroughs, and some flats have no recycling facilities at all.
  • The current recycling service is not fit for purpose and other cities across the world are doing much better.
  • Better segregation of food waste would increase the potential for the creation of green fuel which would meet the city’s energy needs.
  • London incinerates over half of its waste for energy. This does mean less reliance on landfill, but valuable resources are being wasted, and carbon dioxide emissions are being produced.

The report’s recommendations

The committee made some recommendations in the report to improve waste management in London. Most of these are aimed at the Mayor himself.

  • Monitor recycling rates across boroughs, and if recycling targets aren’t met, set up better waste management contracts.
  • Look at potential sources of funding to extend recycling services to properties that don’t currently have any provision.
  • Encourage the government to give local authorities extra powers to fine people who consistently fail to recycle correctly.
  • Set targets to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste that is sent to landfill and incinerators by 2026.
  • Encourage the government to urge manufacturers to reduce plastic packaging and give a better indication of whether packaging is recyclable on the product label.

The chair of the Environment Committee, said that the management of waste in London is a problem, however people are becoming more aware of the need to reduce waste and recycle.

She added that waste can be managed better, and instead of being recycled, sent to landfill, or incinerated, it can be reused and seen as a valuable product. This will create new jobs and benefit the economy as well as the planet.

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