Waste and performance

Waste policy

We want to turn London waste into an opportunity – by reducing waste, reusing and recycling more of it and turning what’s left into low carbon energy. This will also help London to manage more of its waste locally, save Londoners money on disposal costs, generate local green jobs, and reduce CO2 emissions.

Our waste policies are driven by the London Plan.

Chapter 7 of the London Environment Strategy, sets out our policies and proposals for reducing the amount of municipal waste produced, increasing the amount of waste reused, recycled or composted, and generating low carbon energy from waste remaining. The London Environment Strategy (published May 2018) waste chapter includes household and commercial waste (as per the European definition of municipal waste). Chapter 7 also sets out how through the London Waste and Recycling Board, we will continue to support London boroughs in improving recycling rates and reducing waste.

The Mayor's objectives are:

  • drive resource efficiency 
  • maximise recycling rates
  • reduce the environmental impact of waste activities 
  • maximise local waste sites and ensure London has the infrastructure to manage all the waste it produces

We have updated the greenhouse gas Emissions Performance Standard (EPS). This measures how much greenhouse gases are produced through London's municipal waste management activities. The update has taken in to account:

  • new greenhouse gas metrics
  • London's potential recycling performance, including business waste recycling
  • the time it will take to achieve the targets.

This innovative approach supports waste and recycling services, technologies and techniques delivering the greatest carbon dioxide and cost saving benefits. More information can be found in the EPS review report. Boroughs and waste operators can assess the greenhouse gas performance of waste management options against the Mayor’s EPS targets using an online calculator together with an easy to follow User Manual.

What we’re doing to help reduce waste and increase recycling

You can see London’s waste performance on the Data Store, simply search ’waste’.