London should adopt a ‘circular model’ to improve its recycling strategy as activity in the city has dropped to its lowest rate since 2010, according to a London Assembly Environment Committee report.
The report estimated that the model could provide 12,000 new jobs and generate £7 billion for the city’s economy. It would also cut 60% of waste by 2041. Despite the lower recycling rate, innovative ways for waste reduction could save the city from piles of garbage.
The committee’s Waste: The Circular Economy report suggested that collected trash in the city should be reused and recirculated to make the most of the materials’ value. Incineration and simple recycling are the existing ways to deal with rubbish in the city, yet a circular model has a better chance of cutting carbon emissions.
Some examples of reusing trash include the redistribution of food waste from restaurants, as well as textile materials and garments from stores. Leonie Cooper, London Assembly Environment Committee chair, said that the city’s growing population and diminishing landfill space serve as valid reasons to improve waste management practices.
In towns near London, local initiatives could also follow the report’s suggestions. In Kent, for instance, some companies offer services for skip hire in Sittingbourne to help with waste management. The need for these services would likely be more relevant, based on a survey of public perception on current recycling practices in the country.
A poll of 1,500 Britons reflected confusion over the existing methods. It showed that only 25% of respondents think that all recyclable materials are reused, while only 16% admitted that they find it easy to understand recycling labels.
A chance to improve the recycling strategy in London has more advantages beyond the environmental aspect, as jobs and the economy could also benefit from a better sustainable plan.