London could slash its waste levels by 2041 – and generate £7 billion for the economy – by shifting to a circular economy model, according to a new study.
The report from the London Assembly Environment Committee, ‘Waste: The Circular Economy’, estimates that waste can be reduced by 60% in this timescale. Without taking action now though, London faces a mounting waste crisis. The research reveals that, on the current trajectory, there will be an ‘extra one million tonnes of waste’ – and the equivalent of an additional 500,000 refuse trucks needed to collect it – within three decades.
“The way we deal with waste in London needs to change. Recycling rates have fallen, the population continues to grow, and landfill space is quickly running out,” London’s Environment Committee Chair, Leonie Cooper AM, said.
She has called on the city’s Mayor to “take a visible lead in pushing the circular economy forward” and for awareness to be “vastly improved among London’s businesses”.
The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) unveiled a roadmap in June for transforming the English capital into a circular city. The Chair of the organisation, Dr Liz Goodwin OBE, said the “size of the circular economy prize for London is huge”.
She added: “Cities are the engine room of the circular economy. London could receive a net benefit of up to £7bn a year by 2036 if we accelerate our transition, £2.8bn of which can be achieved by delivering the actions in this document.”