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London heading in the right direction, with reduction in waste generated and improved recycling rates

Defra's release of the 2005/06 waste arisings and recycling rates highlights that London is reducing the amount of waste it generates, down by 3.6% on last year's figures. London is now the third best performing region in the country for waste reduction.

England reduced the amount of waste generated by 2.9%. Two London authorities achieved the greatest reduction in waste arisings generated per head per year: Westminster achieved a reduction of 1.4 % and the Western Riverside Waste Authority managed an impressive reduction of 4.3 %, on last year's figures.

Defra announced the results comparing regional areas; this provides an inaccurate view of the capital's performance. A truer picture is identified through comparing like with like: comparing London with the other metropolitan authorities.

Daniel Silverstone, Chief Executive, London Remade said “Reducing the amount of waste arisings is a key indicator to assess performance. London boroughs are improving their recycling collection systems and raising awareness to make it easy for residents to recycle their waste and reduce their rubbish. This demonstrates that real improvements are being made.”

Focusing on recycling, London is one of the best performing areas achieving a 20.6% recycling rate. The average recycling rate across the 36 metropolitan authorities is 19.88%.

Recycling rates in rural areas will always exceed those generated by urban populations due to factors relating to population density, housing demographics, such as numbers of high-rise properties, and the availability of green garden waste for composting. 1

Silverstone, continued: “By comparing London's performance with that of other regions with rural areas, recycling in London is being misrepresented. As the figures of the metropolitan authorities illustrate, London is performing above average; and improving in comparison with cities that face similar issues.”

London Remade is working with all the London boroughs to help them improve their waste reduction, recycling and waste management processes and meet their Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) obligations.

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