Air quality in London is a hot topic. Many media outlets report on the high levels of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide (NOx), which pollutes the air we breathe. Most of the air pollution in London is caused by road traffic, so reducing vehicle movements will ensure the air quality in London improves.
Westminster City Council has an important role to play here. With one of the largest fleets of waste collection vehicles operating in the capital, the way Westminster manages waste can contribute significantly to cleaning up our air.
How can your business help reduce waste collection journeys?
Less waste trucks, more waste collections
One way of reducing vehicle emissions is by reducing the number of trucks operating in Westminster. Currently, it is not only Westminster City Council collecting waste from businesses but a number of private operators as well. These collectors often operate fleets of smaller sized, diesel collection vehicles rather than the large capacity, electric trucks that we do. This means they have to make several round trips to collect the same volume of waste we collect in a single movement due to the limited load capacity of small vehicles.
Due to Westminster City Council’s legal obligations as a Waste Collection Authority providing waste collections, we already have to pick up waste in every street of Westminster. As such, it makes sense to collect as much waste as possible in our electric vehicles as they pass through the entire area.
By choosing to have Westminster City Council collect your business’ rubbish, you can reduce the number of trucks serving your street immediately. Consolidating waste servicing arrangements through us will allow your business to contribute directly towards cleaner air and less congestion.
What is our investment in waste collection vehicles and waste disposal?
Larger, newer fleet with clean vehicle technology
If you choose Westminster as your waste collection partner, you will be serviced by one of the cleanest, and largest electric fleets of vehicles in the capital. In the West End, our fully electric fleet will allow an 89% reduction of CO2e emissions compared to a diesel fleet, in line with Westminster City Council’s carbon net-zero by 2030 plans. It will also help improve air quality and lower noise pollution as electric motors are significantly quieter.
Due to separate and stringent national and regional requirements placed on us for reducing vehicle emissions, we will continue to electrify our fleets for a cleaner alternative to diesel trucks. By being at the forefront of clean vehicle technology, our waste service helps reduce high levels of air pollution in London. Find out more about Westminster’s work on improving local air quality here.
Local disposal sites mean less traffic
Carrying rubbish from where it is produced to where it is treated uses energy and creates vehicle emissions. Westminster prefers to take waste to facilities as close to where the waste is produced as possible. This ensures transport and handling of waste is significantly less than that collected by others who rely on facilities much further away, even abroad.
Through our long term partner Veolia, we have access to a range of unique local facilities to recycle and treat your business’ rubbish. For example, plastic bottles from their recycling sorting plant in Southwark are recycled in Dagenham. Cardboard boxes and paper collected in Westminster end up recycled into new packaging board in Kent.
The general waste we collect helps to generate clean energy at the combined heat and power (CHP) energy recovery facility in Deptford. The electricity generated here from Westminster’s rubbish means less coal or gas is burnt elsewhere to generate it. This electricity will also help power our collection fleet. Heat from the combustion process also heats local homes and businesses, saving on using (inefficient) gas-fired boilers. It also saves a significant amount of CO2 compared to sending commercial waste to similar CHP facilities abroad.
All these local solutions require less transport than far away facilities. Less transport means fewer emissions, less congestion and cleaner air for London.
Become a Westminster City Council Commercial Waste customer and help reduce unnecessary waste disposal and waste collection journeys.
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