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Can you make carbon savings from recycling with Westminster City Council?

Commercial Waste Services Westminster
Commercial Waste Services Westminster

How big is the carbon footprint of your waste?

reducing carbon


We are often asked the question as to whether switching to our Commercial Waste Services is actually of benefit to the environment. This reflects the fact that many organisations have targets within their Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes to do whatever they can to reduce their CO2 emissions –  regardless of what generates them.

To answer the question, we have built a Carbon Calculator that shows:

  1. The impact of moving to our Commercial Waste Services with exactly the same profile of (waste) collections.  
  2. The impact of switching to different kinds of recycling collections.  
  3. A meaningful measure! We took the CO2 numbers – which are too easily seen as ‘just a figure’ – and converted that into the equivalent amount of polar ice melt in metres squared that the C02 emissions would cause.

What’s the difference between Commercial Waste Services and ‘other suppliers’?

You will see that the CO2 generated by Commercial Waste Services is less than that of other suppliers. Are we just fixing the figures?

No – we used industry data in our calculator on the way in which waste is processed by other waste disposal operators. The average data shows that some waste goes to landfill, some waste gets burned in low performance incinerators without extensive heat and energy capture, some gets exported (requiring transport emitting CO2) to facilities that only recover electricity rather than heat (further adding to carbon emissions), etc. We have used these industry figures to create the calculations for ‘other suppliers’.

In terms of our own figures, we have taken into account that all of Commercial Waste Services’ collections and recycling goes for further use – the vast majority is handled within the confines of London’s Zone 3.  As such, none goes to landfill, nothing gets exported, and everything that is turned into energy is processed in an advanced high-performance (R1 rated) Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), resulting in large carbon savings from recycling and waste collections. The energy generated by the ERF is put back into the London power and heating grids. Food waste is also used to generate energy and fertiliser through our Anaerobic Digestion facility (AD).

How to use the calculator to see if you can make carbon savings from recycling using our services

  1. First of all, select whether you use Westminster City Council’s Commercial Waste Service or a different (private) contractor’s service.
  2. Select whether you use bags or bins.
  3. Put in the number of bags or bins you have collected per day.
  4. Select whether you do any kind of recycling.
  5. If applicable, tick any type of recycling services that you use.
  6. View the results – both CO2 created and Polar Ice Melt equivalent
  7. To get a PDF copy of the table and results enter your email into the box at the bottom of the calculator and press ‘submit’.

What might you find?

We put into the calculator just 10 bins a day to see what we would find.

  • A 15% reduction in CO2 generated by moving to Commercial Waste Services from the average waste collector and making no changes in terms of separating waste.
  • A reduction of nearly 30% of the original amount of CO2 by continuing to use Westminster City Council’s facilities by using all types of recycling collection services
  • A reduction of nearly 25% of the original amount of CO2 If you were using an average private operator with only mixed waste collections.

If this is your profile, your business alone could save the floor space of a 2 bedroom flat in melted ice per year. Just think what that would mean if every business in Westminster did their bit!

[200m2 = 10 acres]

If you would like to email us a copy of your PDF calculation to Commercial Waste Services  [commercialwaste@westminster.gov.uk] we’d be happy to talk with you to start making some savings in CO2 generation.

Let’s, between us, make a difference!


reducing carbon


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