London launches £24m waste programme

A £24m programme to deal with London's commercial and industrial waste has been launched which could see waste companies bid for funding before a 'Dragon's Den'-style panel of experts.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone and the London Development Agency (LDA) announced details of the programme, which aims to support the development of infrastructure that can reduce the amount of waste being landfilled or incinerated.

A panel of waste, energy and financial experts will be appointed this summer to drive the programme and find innovative waste and recycling facilities for the capital.

The Mayor’s office said companies could be invited to pitch to the panel in a similar manner to contestants on the BBC2 show Dragons Den.

Mr Livingstone said: “There are real opportunities in London to develop technologies that treat waste as a resource, rather than relying on outdated waste disposal methods which contribute to climate change.

“London’s businesses and boroughs are currently choosing to bury and burn the capital’s waste – dumping it in the Home Counties – while recycling rates lag behind the rest of the UK.

“This funding package of £24m from the London Development Agency will accelerate the use of cleaner, greener recycling and treatment methods that are already being effectively used in Europe.”

Manny Lewis, chief executive of the LDA, added: “It simply isn’t viable to continue to send all that waste to landfill and we’re currently missing out on the possibilities waste has to offer as a resource.”

The programme is a key part of the Mayor’s Draft Business Waste Strategy and it is hoped it will secure significant additional investment from both the private and public sectors.

A report commissioned by the Greater London Authority and published last month said technologies such as plasma gasification and anaerobic digestion will deliver the biggest reductions in climate change emissions.

Kate Martin

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