Turning London’s trash into cash

Turning London’s trash into cash

12 July 2017

An estimated £238 million worth of reusable or recyclable textiles was sent by Londoners to landfill in a year[1]. In fact - London throws away nearly 4 billion tonnes of waste each year[2]. Could a circular economy prevent this waste - and turn trash into cash?

  • A circular economy involves recirculating materials after use by repair or recycling
  • Recognising ‘waste’ as a commodity and minimising the amount we throw away
  • The benefits include:
    - Environmental: through reduced carbon emissions, reduced demand for raw materials and less waste to dispose of.
    - Economic: by reducing materials costs to businesses, reducing the cost of new goods to consumers, and job creation (up to 40,000 by 2030)[3].
    - Social: through community-building and skill gains coming from the creation of community and third-sector enterprises to meet local needs and fill gaps left by larger businesses. 

Would a circular economy work in London?

The London Assembly Environment Committee will tomorrow begin its investigation into waste management. This meeting will focus on reducing London’s waste and enabling the circular economy.

The guests are:

  • Dr Liz Goodwin, Chair, London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB)
  • Clare Ollerenshaw, Circular Economy Manager, LWARB
  • Andy Richmond, Policy & Programmes Manager, Greater London Authority (GLA)
  • Keith James, Textiles Delivery Manager, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
  • Rebecca Trevalyan, Chief Lending Officer, Library of Things
  • Viv Taylor, Head of Growth & Marketing, OLIO

The investigation will continue with two further meetings on household recycling collections and energy from waste.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 13 July from 2:30pm in the Chamber at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend

The meeting can also be viewed LIVE via webcast or YouTube

Follow us @LondonAssembly and take part in the meeting discussion using #AssemblyEnv, #Londonrubbish and #circulareconomy

Notes to editors

  1. London’s Circular Economy Route Map (page 38), LWARB, June 2017.
  2. ENV18 - Local authority collected waste: annual results tables, DEFRA, 20 February 2017.
  3. Employment and the circular economy: Job creation through resource efficiency in London, GLA, 2015.
  4. Full Agenda papers.
  5. Leonie Cooper AM, Chair of the Environment Committee is available for interview.  See contact details below.
  6. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.