Westminster’s experience in dealing with rubbish and keeping the streets clean goes back hundreds of years. Just have a look at the photos to see how things have changed over the years (or have stayed the same)?
One thing that certainly has changed is how the UK deals with its waste. Only a few years ago the habit was to just collect all that was thrown out and then deposit it all into landfill sites. Landfill was a widely and cheaply available way to dispose of rubbish however it is an extremely wasteful and environmentally damaging way to deal with rubbish. Last year around 30 million tonnes were still disposed of to landfill, a lot of it rubbish from businesses that should have been put to better use. The world’s resources are finite. Using them once and then burying them is not sustainable. In addition rubbish in landfills generates harmful decomposition products such as heavily contaminated liquids (known as leachate) that pollutes groundwater as well as gasses such as methane and other hydrocarbons which are all extremely powerful pollutants. In order to drive out the use of landfill to dispose of waste, the government introduced an escalating landfill tax aimed at making landfill noncompetitive towards more sustainable methods of treating waste such as recycling and Energy from Waste (EfW) combustion. Westminster recognised this early in the 1990’s and since then has worked according to the principle of recycling waste first and generate energy out of whatever can’t be recycled, phasing out the use of landfill for Westminster’s waste. Over the years our recycling services have diverted 100,000’s tonnes of rubbish from landfill and towards manufacturing into new products. And this volume is still increasing year on year as we roll out new and expand existing recycling services. The materials we collect for recycling tend to go to UK based recyclers and made into new products to be used domestically or internationally. But, however much we like to recycle and compost there will always be a quantity of waste left that can’t be reused or recycled. All is not lost for this rubbish and by using Westminster’s commercial waste service residual rubbish is combusted at SELCHP to generate sustainable green energy for London homes and businesses. The District Heating scheme fueled by Westminster’s general waste provides a cost effective and sustainable way of heating and contributes towards tackling fuel poverty. We have an unparalleled experience in dealing with all types of rubbish, from recyclable materials and food waste to hazardous and general waste. Having served Westminster businesses for many years we understand what you expect from a waste collection and cleansing service. We pride ourselves on our good working relationship with local businesses, our high quality standards and green operating principles. Westminster’s model for waste collection is often copied by others but never equaled.