Mayor Boris Johnson has announced his plans today (January 18) in ‘London’s Wasted Resource’, his draft municipal waste strategy.

Densely populated London produces four million tonnes of waste every year, but its recycling rates are the lowest of all English regions – it also compares badly to other international cities.

The document contains a series of measures and commits Mr Johnson to working with local authorities to boost London’s recycling rates, ensure streets are cleaner ahead of 2012 and save up to £90 million per year.

According to the draft this saving could be made by sending no rubbish to landfill, recycling as much as possible, and taking energy from what is left over.

By 2015, the Mayor wants the capital to be recycling at least 45% of its municipal waste rising to 60% by 2031 and sending no municipal waste to landfill by 2025.

With landfill rates set to increase from current associated costs of around £245 million to £307 million by 2013, these proposals seek to help boroughs to minimise pressure on future council tax bills.

Mr Johnson, said: “Some of London’s boroughs are taking pioneering strides forward to boost their recycling rates, however overall in London we are really lagging behind.

“It is not only detrimental to our environment, but economically a backwards step to be sending our rubbish to landfill and I am writing to all the borough leaders to urge them to pull out the stops to boost our recycling efforts.

“I want to work with borough councils to harvest the massive economic potential coming from London’s waste both to save money off the city’s bills and to improve our environment.

“We must also seek to unblock the remaining barriers to recycling making it easier to take this option rather than simply chuck unwanted stuff in the bin, for example, providing better collection facilities in flats and multi-occupancy dwellings.”

Luke Walsh

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