The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, published a draft of the London Environment Strategy for consultation on August 11th, 2017. This strategy reiterates that change will have to be made to ensure that London remains a liveable city for residents and workers. Within the campaign, there is a large focus on sustainable waste management and how London is planning to tackle waste.
Our linear economy (take, make and dispose of) is unsustainable. It produces too much waste, with around 7m tonnes coming from London’s homes, public buildings and businesses each year. Of this, 52% is currently recycled but performance has stagnated. The capacity of landfills accepting London’s waste is expected to run out by 2026 and London’s waste bill is now in excess of £2bn a year and rising.
Partnership is key to the campaign and the London Mayor will invest funds into developing businesses that embrace the circular approach to resource use. The focus will be given to businesses with reuse, repair and remanufacturing projects and those using low carbon technologies. The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) will also invest in a circular economy growth capital fund and accelerator. This will provide support for those companies who will be growing the circular economy in London and delivering the co-benefits of greenhouse gas emission reductions and increased resilience for the city.
The Mayor will work with organisations including the Restart Project, Globechain and Warpit to boost materials repair and help divert unwanted items to useful purposes.
Waste authorities must demonstrate how they will transition their waste fleets to low or zero emission options, prioritising the phasing out of diesel-powered waste fleets. They are expected to comply with the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) vehicle exhaust emission standards and to work towards the Mayor’s overall ambition that:
- All new cars and vans (less than 3.5 tonnes) will be zero emission capable from 2025
- All heavy vehicles (greater than 3.5 tonnes) will be fossil fuel-free from 2030
- Zero emission fleets by 2050. Fossil-fuel free can include the use of 100% renewable fuels derived from sources such as food waste and waste oils.
London’s ambition is ultimately to be a zero waste city. By 2026 no biodegradable or recyclable waste will be sent to landfill and by 2030, 65% of London’s municipal waste will be recycled. Major progress toward zero waste is possible through the use of standard operating procedures, techniques and systems that reduce or eliminate waste, facilitate recycling, and promote the creative use and re-use of products, materials and facilities. In Westminster, our Commercial Waste Services can help you by carrying out a waste audit to review the potential opportunities to begin or improve your recycling practices.
View our overview of the waste strategy