London sets up waste sector ‘dating agency’

A website that aims to find the perfect match for those seeking to set up waste plants in London is set to be launched by the city's Waste & Recycling Board.

The service will match potential developers with those who can help them realise their plans.

It could, for example, match someone who has an anaerobic digestion technology but needs a site with someone who has the land and wants to build an AD plant.

The London Waste & Recycling Board (LWARB) aims to launch the waste brokerage service on its website in September, along with an interactive map that allows those interested in the city’s waste requirements to get a better understanding of the complex, interlinked issues.

The map can filter factors such as available brownfield sites, existing or planned waste facilities and demand for ‘offtake’ resources such as heat, electricity and recyclate and allow users to build up a detailed image off what is needed where, and where the opportunities exist to build it.

“It will include overlays of opportunities and constraints that affect waste infrastructure development,” said the board’s Charlotte Eddington, speaking at the launch of the organisation’s 2010/11 business plan this week.

The launch event acknowledged that, until now, the relatively recently established board has focused much of its attention on establishing its own procedures, protocols and priorities but that this year would see more action.

As well as the brokerage services that aim to get the right people talking to one another, the board plans to tackle reuse, the often-overlooked pinnacle of the waste hierarchy, and address the thorny issue of low recycling rates in flats.

Looking at the gaps in provision of infrastructure, the board’s Wayne Hubbard said that obviously the priority was driving down landfill – with a target of zero landfill by 2025 – and increasing more sustainable methods of waste management.

But, in general terms, he did give some insight into how the board expects those goals to be met, outlining the type and quantity of facilities it believes is required, and is therefore likely to look favourably upon when it comes to funding.

In broad brush strokes, he said, London needs an extra three materials recycling facilities (MRFs), two anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, one thermal processing plant and one mechanical and biological treatment (MBT) plant.

Sam Bond

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