Waste infrastructure needed to boost London recycling

Carving up political powers which will determine waste policy in the capital will not make huge gains without a funding boost to go with it, according to London Remade.

Recycling promoter London Remade has said it welcomes new mayoral powers to chair a new waste forum for the city and determine planning applications for waste infrastructure (see related story) but points out that the infrastructure will not appear without hard cash.

The organisation estimates investment of around £2 billion is needed to provide the recycling facilities which would allow the capital to manage its own waste.

Daniel Silverstone, chief executive of London Remade, said: “London is experiencing a severe shortage of the scale of reprocessing infrastructure it needs if it is to meet its short term resource management challenges.

“The increasing interest in recycling and the growing trend towards resource recovery and remanufacture, requires a new generation of facilities to manage London’s waste materials.

“This investment will enable London to make real progress towards achieving the Mayor’s challenging long term target of reaching 85% resource efficiency by 2020.

“News of the mayor’s additional powers in planning should focus strategic investment decisions affecting new reprocessing facilities covering household, commercial and construction waste streams.

“London Remade is already working on proposals to dramatically upgrade London’s ability to reprocess and recycle its waste, enabling the capital to reprocess an additional 1.5 million tonnes of waste.

“We look forward to collaborating with all partners: the boroughs, the GLA, Defra, the private sector and potential investors to get these projects developed, planned and funded over the next 12 months.

“We particularly welcome the proposals on climate change and energy, the establishment of a new London waste and recycling fund and a regional waste infrastructure programme.”

80% of Londoners have access to a recycling collection from home and recycling is rated as the UK’s number one green activity. Therefore the amount of waste materials ready to be reprocessed into valuable resources is increasing.

Through the Mayor’s Green Procurement Code, London Remade is working with all sectors, concentrating on transforming these resources into recycled products, and closing the recycling loop.

“These proposals are good news for the supply side of London’s resource management challenge: new infrastructure, more collaborative working and stronger mayoral planning powers,” said Mr Silverstone.

“We also need to concentrate on creating stronger demand for recycled content products, ideally made in London.”

Sam Bond

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