Insufficient funds could foil Ken’s waste plans

The Mayor of London's recent suggestions for treating and reusing non-recyclable waste material are a positive move forward, but insufficient funds could prevent the plans from taking their full effect, according to the Association of London Government (ALG).

Ken Livingstone’s Municipal Waste Management Strategy, published last week, offers councils in London boroughs a guide to introducing new waste recovery systems and dealing with rubbish that cannot be recycled.

Identifying what Mr Livingstone called the “best practicable environmental option for London”, the guide states that approximately two million tonnes of new waste recovery technology must be introduced in the capital by 2020.

But a spokeswoman from the ALG told edie that, while they welcomed his strategy plan, a serious lack of funding to cover environmental issues at local councils could prevent it from working efficiently.

“Greater flexibility for boroughs to raise funds to make the necessary investment in waste management is good,” she said. “However, this does not mask the overall lack of funding they have received as part of their Environment Protection and Cultural Services settlement, which has faced real terms reduction.”

Recycling campaigner for Friends of the Earth, Georgina Bloomfield agreed that it was time for people in the UK at all levels to start seriously thinking of ways to reuse their rubbish:

“We really need to see action at all levels to cut back on waste. That means everyone, from Government to industry to individuals, needs to look at what they produce and where it ends up. By cutting back on waste at source, we can really start to reduce our rubbish mountain and make better use of our valuable natural resources.”

The ALG agreed, welcoming Mr Livingstone’s suggestions, but stated that London boroughs needed the requisite funding to meet the challenging targets set for recycling and landfill diversion, while still being able to provide a high quality service.

“The Mayor has set out his plans for London in his guide, but it is down to boroughs themselves to decide what the best options are for their local area through consultation and local decision making,” the ALG spokeswoman told edie.

By Jane Kettle

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie