Sustainable solutions for waste
On 16th November, our Director James Brennan took part in the Institute of Civil Engineers final lecture of the Engineering the Future: London 2050 series, entitled “Waste, sustainable solutions”.
The series of lectures examined the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 which is the first attempt by London to set out the full range of infrastructure requirements for the capital over the next 35 years. A period during which the population of London is forecast to increase by 37% to more than 11 million people.
An overview of the plan was given by Andrew Richmond, Senior Manager for Sustainable Energy at the Greater London Authority. He set out what the GLA is doing to improve resource management within the city, particularly to lower the amount of waste going to landfills. More than 65% of London’s municipal waste is sent to a landfill or energy from waste plants each year, costing London’s boroughs £250 million in gate fees alone, a figure the GLA are seeking to reduce.
The presentation was followed by a discussion with a panel of experts and the audience. Discussions highlighted what opportunities there were to explore for example :
- Putting waste to better use, especially in regards to heat generation. Peter Gerstrom, CEO of Cory Environmental said that the construction sector was one particular area where all waste could be reused.
- Rainer Zimmann, UKMEA Waste Business Leader at Arup set out how London could become a circular economy, highlighting the work of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the need for policy makers to show that a circular economy is not at the expense of economic success, but instead can actually boost economic growth.
Here in west London we’re in the process of putting in place new infrastructure to ensure that energy is recovered from as much of the waste thrown away from homes as possible. From next year the majority of west London’s waste will be sent for energy recovery, read all about our ambitious new contract with SITA.
That’s not all we’re doing, we know that many of the items put in bins could be used to make something else, could have a great life in another home or with food particularly, making a small easy change at home could mean it gets eaten instead of binned. So we have a team that goes out and about to attend events, give talks and presentations, and write all the fantastic pages on this website which contain lots of things you can do to reduce, re-use and recycle more so very little needs to go to waste. If you would like to know more or book us for your event, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
From left to right: Jim Brennan, West London Waste Authority and ICE London and South East Waste Panel Chair, Rainer Zimmann, Arup, Peter Gerstrom, Cory Environmental and Andrew Richmond, Greater London Authority (GLA)