London to become recycling capital

London is set to become a recycling capital, as London Remade announces a massive £4.8 million investment in glass recycling.

London Remade, the marketing arm of London Waste Action (LWA), a charity which brings together London’s private and public sector leaders to promote sustainable development, has announced the investment of £4,851,000 in glass recycling in London. This unprecedented amount demonstrates a new enthusiasm and commitment towards the business of recycling, the organisation says.

Glass will be collected from pubs, clubs, restaurants and offices from London’s boroughs and reprocessed at an eco-industrial site set-up in Charlton, in the London Borough of Greenwich. Over the next two years, over 40,000 tonnes of glass will be diverted into different markets.

This contract will enable recycled products to be sold back into London. It will develop new markets and new technologies, and will create both training and job opportunities. Remade aims to contribute to the economic regeneration of the Thames Gateway by stimulating new niche sectors, industries and jobs around the reprocessing of secondary materials.

Investment in infrastructure is also set to benefit from the project. The recycled glass will be used for a wide range of construction purposes including sharp sand, road stone surfacing and shot blasting.

The funding has come from a number of sources, including a consortium of four companies. Day Group has invested £1,370,003, the Single Regeneration Budget has provided funding of £760,913, the European Regional Development Fund is providing £220,301, and contributions amounting to £1,682,634 have come from Cory Environmental, packaging waste compliance scheme Valpak, consultants Enviros, and the landfill tax.

London Remade carried out a competitive tendering process for the contract. Hugh Carr-Harris, Chief Executive of London Remade said, “It is a powerful group and I am really excited about what the consortium can deliver in assisting London’s recycling targets”.

Valpak and Cory Environmental will work with Day Group to supply glass by road and river to its plant in Charlton. Clare Andrews, Senior Development Manager at Cory Environmental said, “Cory is very pleased to be working with London Remade through the provision of river transport, as well as providing glass requiring reprocessing. Exploiting the potential of the river improves the environmental efficiencies of the programme by avoiding large numbers of lorry movements through London”.

By March 2004, the London Remade Programme aims to divert 250,000 tonnes of waste from landfill by encouraging its reprocessing into secondary materials for the manufacturing sector. It aims to secure £13 million of private sector inward investment in waste collection, sorting and reprocessing infrastructure, and even has plans to deliver a technical, business support training programme and community enterprise programme to 2800 people.

Over the past three years, recycling rates across London have increased by approximately 5%. However under the Waste Strategy 2000, these rates must double to 17% by 2003 and treble to 33% by 2005. This needs to be achieved against a background of waste production rates that are increasing at an unsustainable rate of 3% a year.

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