The Mayor of London’s draft municipal waste strategy, London’s Wasted Resource, aims to save up to £90 million per year through a variety of measures including boosting the capital’s recycling rates and embracing less polluting waste technologies.
At present, London has the lowest recycling rates in England and so the Mayor is writing to all borough leaders to ask them to improve recycling in order to avoid massive landfill taxes and potential rises in council tax.
With half of London’s homes being flats or multi-occupancy buildings, Mr Johnson feels more needs to be done to make it easier for people to recycle.
He said: “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 improve our environment. This will be achieved through reducing the mounds of waste generated in the first place and expanding on the emerging trend for the reuse of household items through networks such as Freecycle.
“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.”
The Mayor plans to ask the London Waste and Recycling Board, which he chairs, to allocate funds for this purpose and adapt London’s flats to improve recycling facilities such as placing collection points near doorways or supporting changes to bin chute design.
By 2015, Mr Johnson wants London to be recycling at least 45 per cent of its municipal waste rising to 60 per cent by 2031, sending zero municipal waste to landfill by 2025.
In addition to improving recycling in residential dwellings, the Mayor’s strategy also outlined plans to make London’s streets as clean as possible for 2012 by providing better access to ‘on the go’ recycling facilities.
He said: “With the focus of the world turning to London ahead of 2012, I also want to see a re-doubling of efforts by everyone in the capital to make our streets cleaner and more pleasant.”
The Mayor’s draft municipal waste strategy is open to consultation with the London Assembly until 15 March, 2010. It will be followed by a strategy for public consultation in the summer.