Boris calls on Londoners to recycle Christmas waste

Boris Johnson has urged Londoners to think about how they dispose of their festive rubbish, saying that recycling could save the capital around £4m in disposal costs.

Over the Christmas season, London will produce an extra 30,000 tonnes of household rubbish, including around 6,000 tonnes of food waste. When the dust settles, 1.5 million turkeys will have been devoured, and enough wrapping paper used to cover the circumference of the equator (that’s 24,902 miles).

Recycling this waste not only saves money but reduces carbon emissions too. For example if every additional wine and sherry bottle, mincemeat and cranberry sauce jar were recycled, London could save an estimated 630 tonnes of carbon, the equivalent to taking 195 cars off the road for a year.

In addition by Twelfth Night, Londoners will be ready to discard an estimated one million Christmas trees and 75 tonnes of Christmas tree lights.

Boris Johnson said: “If each one of us does our bit to recycle more over this festive season, we can help local authorities avoid hefty landfill charges and save money from the public purse. Every borough offers a range of recycling services, including for the capital’s forest of Christmas trees.”

Business waste

It’s not just households that can make a difference as the Mayor is offering free support to London’s small and medium-sized food businesses to make tackling their food waste a New Year’s resolution. 

Over 100 London businesses have signed up so far to the FoodSave Programme including Borough Market which is donating unsold bread and produce to charity. These businesses have prevented over 700 tonnes of food waste going to landfill and will save around £250,000 a year

The Greater London Authority will also chip the iconic Trafalgar Square Christmas tree for recycling on Monday 5th January, and the chippings will be used as fertilizer.

Brad Allen

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