Plastic bottles

Why are Londoners so rubbish at recycling?

17 September 2019

London homes create approximately 3.6 million tonnes of waste each year.  Of this, only 33 per cent is recycled, which is well below the national average of 43 per cent. 

Much of this waste goes to landfill and incineration.  The capacity of landfills accepting London’s waste is expected to run out by 2026 and London’s waste bill is now in excess of £2 billion a year and rising [1].

The Mayor has set a headline target of 65 per cent of all London’s waste to be recycled by 2030.  To achieve this, the average London household recycling rate must increase from 33 per cent to 42 per cent.

Tomorrow, the London Assembly Environment Committee will discuss London’s recycling rates.  Other topics will include:

  • Green infrastructure
  • Air pollution
  • Energy for Londoners

The guests are:

  • Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy
  • James Hardy, Senior Manager, Energy for Londoners
  • Andrew Dunwoody, Policy & Programmes Manager, Waste & The Green Economy
  • Oliver Lord, Deputy Air Quality Manager
  • Andrew Jones, Policy & Programmes Manager, Green Infrastructure

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 18th of September at 10.00am in Committee Room 5, 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  

Follow us on Twitter and take part in the meeting discussion using #AssemblyEnvironment & #EnvironQ&A

Notes to editors

  1. Greater London Authority (GLA), London Environment Strategy (Chapter 7: Waste), pp. 274-372 
  2. Caroline Russell AM, Chair of the Environment Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.
  3. Full agenda here.
  4. The Environment Committee looks at what additional measures could be taken to help improve the quality of life for Londoners and investigates topics ranging from airport expansion and burst water mains, to noise from the Night Tube and the environmental impacts of plastic water bottles.
  5. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Aoife Nolan on 020 7983 4067.  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.

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