The publication of the Draft Waste Strategy in January proposed ambitious targets for dealing with London’s waste, with the aim to work towards ‘zero waste to landfill’ by 2031, and to manage as much as 80 per cent of London’s waste within London by 2020. A half-day conference, in association with SITA UK, examined the challenges and opportunities this presents for London, as we address the need to build new waste facilities within the urban realm, and alter our approach to waste as a resource.
Andrew Richmond, Policy and Programmes Manager for Waste at the GLA set out the scale of the task; with 20 million tonnes of waste produced in London in 2008, a wide range of measures are going to be required, including prevention of waste, an emphasis on re-use, higher recycling and composting rates, and the use of waste as an energy source.
New technologies for dealing with our waste are emerging, including the proposed plans for Brent Cross Cricklewood, presented by Jonathan Joseph of Brent Cross Cricklewood Partners, which will include a new CHP plant that creates fuel directly from waste. The Green Enterprise District in Dagenham is also trialling new forms of waste facilities, including closed-loop recycling for plastics and proposals for a 120,00 tonne capacity gasification plant.
However, convincing people to accept waste facilities within their communities poses a significant challenge – next week, a breakfast talk at NLA will examine how waste facilities can be designed and engineered to fit within London’s densely populated urban realm.