London to be a zero waste city according to final Environment Strategy

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The Mayor of London’s final version of London’s Environment Strategy has been released, with the Mayor pledging to make the city zero waste. 

It also outlined that by 2026 no biodegradable or recyclable waste will be sent to landfill and by 2030 65% of London’s municipal waste will be recycled.  

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According to the Strategy, currently only 41% of the city’s waste gets recycled, with 7 million tonnes of waste being produced annually from homes, buildings and businesses. 

The Mayor has said radical action, including creating a circular economy, need to be taken to tackle the waste problem in London.  

This includes:  

  • Significantly reducing waste, with a focus on single-use plastics and food waste 
  • Encouraging greater reuse of materials to minimise the use of virgin resources including accelerating business models that promote the circular economy  
  • Maximising the recycling of materials left from homes and businesses  
  • Increasing the value of truly non-recyclable waste by generating low carbon energy once all opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle materials have been exhausted.  

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The Strategy also highlighted the need for London boroughs and waste companies to increase the availability of recycling services.  

Responding to the publication of the Strategy, London Assembly Environment Committee chair Caroline Russell AM said: “It’s good to see movement with the Final Environment Strategy on some of the Environment Committee’s recommendations, such as stronger proposals on reducing waste and increasing recycling.” 

She argued that the Strategy did not include key actions including the Committee’s call for stronger ambitions in reducing carbon up to 2025, and for boroughs to be pressed to offer a minimum level of recycling collections to flats.  

An in-depth examination and vote on the final Strategy will take place on the 21 May, where the London Mayor will take part in a question and answer session, alongside the Deputy Mayor for the Environment and Energy. 

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