Question mark over London incinerator

London Mayor Ken Livingstone appealed a High Court Judge decision on Wednesday to allow a tender for a waste contract to incinerate West London's waste.

The West London Waste Authority (WLWA) required a judicial review of two directions from the Mayor obliging it to choose the most energy efficient ways of dealing with the waste.

Wednesday’s ruling threw out those directions saying they would “go further” than the Mayor’s current powers permit.

“We have a strong regional policy supporting recycling and this decision means that the amount of London’s rubbish sent to incineration will go up from around 20 per cent to 36 per cent,” said Ken Livingstone.

“In addition the judgment effectively says that quick fix solutions will be made at the expense of the longer-term needs of the environment.”

The Mayor said Wednesday’s decision yet again reinforces the need for a Single Waste Disposal Authority in London, and that one body would ensure waste is strategically co-ordinated and disposed of.

“We would put more emphasis on recycling and new technologies that would capture heat and produce biofuels and hydrogen from London’s rubbish in order to tackle climate change,” London’s Mayor said.

He also said the ruling would have “a direct implication for the Secretary of State’s waste powers in relation to London’s waste” and repeated his calls for members of the House of Lords to support an amendment to the GLA Bill, which was published in November 2006.

The bill will be considered in Grand Committee from 26th April.

The Mayor’s Municipal Waste Management Strategy is available on

Dana Gornitzki

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