Carnival clean-up: Notting Hill waste to generate 100MWh of electricity

Westminster City Council is planning to collect all of the waste from Notting Hill Carnival and use it to generate electricity for the National Grid - all in time to have the streets clean for the Tuesday morning commute.

The 200 tonnes of waste expected to be generated over Bank Holiday weekend (27-29 August) across Notting Hill Carnival’s three-and-a-half-mile route will be collected by a round-the-clock team and fed back into the grid with the help of environmental solutions firm Veolia.

Last year, the team took just four hours to complete the clean-up operation.

Veolia’s senior contract manager Vincent Masseri said: “While the clean-up following Notting Hill Carnival represents a sizeable challenge, it’s one we relish because it’s a real team effort. We deal with the waste in the most sustainable way possible and ensure everything is spotless ahead of rush hour on Tuesday morning.”

The Carnival clean-up team will be divided into 15 separate groups positioned strategically along the route to optimise speed and efficiency. After the waste collection and separation phase, any remaining waste will be converted to green energy. This is expected to generate around 97,200kWh of electricity and 19,600kWh of heat for homes around London, saving 54 tonnes of CO2.

Unusual items

Cabinet Member for City Management at Westminster City Council, Melvyn Caplan, said: “We are proud to support such an event and provide such an efficient clean-up service to get the streets tidy after one of Europe’s biggest street parties. Through the hard work and commitment of our clean-up operatives, you wouldn’t know such a huge event had taken place and I know residents and visitors appreciate their efforts to get the streets back too normal.”

While the usual suspects of plastic bags, food and drink, packaging, beer cans, flags and whistles make up a significant chunk of the waste collected from the Carnival, some stranger items of waste have been occasional finds along the route in previous years, including papier mâché dragons and inflatable palm trees.

Earlier this year, Britain’s most famous festival, Glastonbury, boosted its green credentials with a number of new on-site sustainability initiatives for 2016 including integrated solar, wind and gas generators; on-site food sourcing; and a gym where people power creates the energy for the sound system and screens.

Alex Baldwin

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