We were commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) to model two new standards that Local Authorities in London should meet when managing waste-related Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Our modelling was based on updated data on waste arisings, and took account of waste management challenges specific to London.
The new standards, and our recommendations on how authorities can adapt to a zero-carbon future, have been incorporated into the strategy, published on 11th August 2017 by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. A tool called the Ready Reckoner will also be updated, allowing authorities to check their progress and provide advice to further reduce the climate change impact of their waste activities.
Chapter seven of the Draft London Environment Strategy, on Waste, outlines a new target of 50% of Local Authority Collected Waste LACW to be recycled by 2025, and 65% of municipal waste by 2030. The new goals are in line with our calculations for the new Emissions Performance Standard (EPS) on Local Authority Collected Waste (LACW) and the Carbon Intensity Floor (CIF) target, a measure of emissions from waste to energy infrastructure.
Key guidance on how London authorities can achieve Khan’s ambition include: promoting reuse and repair; recovering more recycling from residual waste streams through advanced pre‐treatment infrastructure; collecting more commercial waste for recycling and promoting shared waste collection services to businesses to relieve congestion on roads.
Rob Gillies, Managing Consultant and one of the report authors at Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd. said:
“More and more cities are setting challenging targets for greenhouse gas reduction over the coming years. These cities are realising that in order to achieve these, they need to prevent waste, and increase the amount of reuse and recycling that occurs. If they are sending residual waste for thermal treatment, they will need to remove the fossil carbon element as far as possible, preferably for recycling. Our report confirms the need to act on these fronts, and the Draft London Environment Strategy reflects these points.”
Our research also outlined pathways to more aspirational targets but used assumptions based on a continuation of the current national policy environment with regards to household collections. It also assumed there were no key additional national policy drivers that might result in a more significant improvement in performance, such as the introduction of pay as you throw systems.