Energy from waste call for London

Waste from across London could be used to power around 2m homes according to a report released today (28 October).

The report from the, London Assembly, states the 22m tonnes of waste produced in the capital could be used to power and heat homes instead of being landfilled.

The Assembly’s environment committee in ‘where there’s muck there’s brass’ call on mayor Boris Johnson to look at ‘alternative’ ways of dealing with waste that can’t be recycled.

The committee also calls for Mr Johnson to do more to speed energy from waste plants through the planning process.

In his foreword chair of the committee, Murad Qureshi, calls for more work on ‘cutting edge’ technologies to move away from the ‘traditional incineration’.

Mr Qureshi said: “London’s waste management is unsustainable and uneconomical.

“The mayor must take the lead on further measures to help jump-start waste management step change.

“Waste to energy technology will help the capital reduce greenhouse gases, cut down on waste sent to landfill, increase renewable energy generation, benefit the economy and create jobs.

“Our recommendations are pragmatic and short-term and will contribute to a rapid roll-out of these very exciting technologies that turn waste into a useful and valuable commodity.”

The report states London’s C02 could be reduced by 1.2m tonnes, helping the Mr Johnson meet his 2025 target of reducing emissions by 60%.

Among the barriers to energy from waste the report names, long-term existing contracts for treatment of municipal waste make it difficult for potential companies to obtain waste material.

It also calls for more education around energy from waste to help lower public opposition to the plants.

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: “The mayor wants Londoners to recycle more, send less waste to landfill and take advantage of the massive economic opportunities available to the capital if we start to manage our waste more efficiently.

“We know that currently 75% of London’s household waste is either landfilled or incinerated, whilst around 90% of municipal waste could actually be reused, recycled or used to generate greener energy.

“By recycling as much as possible, and using the remaining waste to produce energy, we estimate London could save at least £100m in collection and disposal costs.

“The Mayor is working to exploit this potential as Chair of the London Waste and Recycling Board, which has £84m to spend over the next three years in find new ways to deal with waste.

“The Mayor’s draft waste strategy for London is published later this year, which addresses many of the issues contained in this report and will be open to consultation with the assembly and Londoners.”

The mayor launches a food waste recycling campaign earlier this year.

Luke Walsh

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