Businesses must help in war on waste – Mayor

London's businesses produce three quarters of the city's rubbish and must look to more sustainable waste management to help reduce the capital's carbon footprint, according to the Mayor.

City Hall has published a Draft Strategy for London’s Business Waste citing the Mayor’s vision to ensure the private sector reuses, recycles or composts 70% of its waste by 2020, with higher targets of 95% for construction and demolition waste.

At present 44% of the city’s commercial and industrial waste is recycled.

While the Mayor’s control over private sector waste is severely limited, voluntary action has proved forthcoming in other areas, such as green procurement. The strategy also intends to increase the amount of waste plants and sites to manage business waste.

Consultation will now take place with the London Assembly and officers working for the Greater London Authority.

The draft strategy aims to help businesses to recycle more by developing services that they want to use and demonstrates that sustainable waste management and using resources more productively can be economically beneficial.

Case studies have been included to illustrate ways in which some businesses have already implemented and profited from sustainable resource management and to demonstrate the business case for improved environmental performance.

As well as pushing for higher recycling rates, the draft looks at the problem of transporting waste and points out that it is often carried further than necessary while contractors covering the same patch leads to unnecessary inefficiencies.

The Mayor also used the launch of his strategy to reiterate his desire for a Single Waste Authority overseeing London’s waste management from City Hall – a plan strongly resisted by the majority of the boroughs currently responsible for household waste.

“75% of London’s rubbish comes from our businesses and my vision is that by 2020 the waste produced by London’s businesses no longer compromises London’s future as a sustainable city,” said Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London.

“However, I am very much limited in what I can do to manage waste in London. If we had a Single Waste Disposal Authority for the capital I would be able to ensure that more business waste is recycled or used as a source of renewable energy.”

London Development Agency chief executive Manny Lewis added: “Businesses can save money and help the environment by cutting their waste and recycling more. The London Environmental Support Service helps businesses by directing them to things like the Mayor’s Green Procurement Code or Construction Resource Efficiency.”

Sam Bond

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