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Policy SI7 Reducing waste and supporting the circular economy

SI7

  1. Waste reduction, increases in material re-use and recycling, and reductions in waste going for disposal will be achieved by:
    1. promoting a more circular economy that improves resource efficiency and innovation to keep products and materials at their highest use for as long as possible
    2. encouraging waste minimisation and waste avoidance through the reuse of materials and using fewer resources in the production and distribution of products
    3. ensuring that there is zero biodegradable or recyclable waste to landfill by 2026
    4. meeting or exceeding the recycling targets for each of the following waste streams and generating low-carbon energy in London from suitable remaining waste:
      1. municipal waste[127] – 65 per cent by 2030
      2. construction, demolition and excavation waste – 95 per cent by 2020
    5. designing developments with adequate and easily accessible storage space that supports the separate collection of dry recyclables (at least card, paper, mixed plastics, metals, glass) and food.
  2. Referable applications should promote circular economy outcomes and aim to be net zero-waste. A Circular Economy Statement should be submitted, to demonstrate:
    1. how all materials arising from demolition and remediation works will be re-used and/or recycled
    2. how the proposal’s design and construction will enable building materials, components and products to be disassembled and re-used at the end of their useful life
    3. opportunities for managing as much waste as possible on site
    4. adequate and easily accessible storage space to support recycling and re-use
    5. how much waste the proposal is expected to generate, and how and where the waste will be handled.

[127] Based on the EU definition of municipal waste being household waste and other waste similar in composition to household waste. This includes local authority collected waste and waste collected by the private sector.

Waste is defined as anything that is discarded. A circular economy is one where materials are retained in use at their highest value for as long as possible and are then re-used or recycled, leaving a minimum of residual waste. London should move to a more circular economy as this will save resources, increase the resource efficiency of London’s businesses, and help to reduce carbon emissions. The successful implementation of circular economy principles will help to reduce the volume of waste that London produces and has to manage.

In 2015[128] London produced just under 18 million tonnes (mt) of waste, comprising:

  • 3.1mt household waste – 17 per cent
  • 5.0mt commercial/industrial waste – 28 per cent
  • 9.7mt construction, demolition and excavation waste – 54 per cent

[128] https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/london-plan-te...

The London Environment Strategy sets out the Mayor’s approach to waste management in detail. The Mayor is committed to meeting or exceeding the recycling targets for each of the following waste streams, and to generating low-carbon energy in London from suitable remaining waste:

  • municipal waste[129] – 65 per cent recycling/composting by 2030
  • construction, demolition and excavation waste – 95 per cent recycling by 2020

[129] Based on the EU definition of municipal waste being household waste and other waste similar in composition to household waste. This includes local authority collected waste and commercial waste.

Re-use and recycling rates for construction, demolition and excavation waste (CD&E) in London is estimated between 50-60 per cent[130] for 2015 with some large construction projects including the Olympic Park achieving 85 – 95 per cent recycling rates. Nevertheless, more beneficial and higher order uses of this inert waste, for example in conjunction with land reclamation or coastal defences, are possible. A combination of mobile facilities on construction sites, effective use of existing waste processing sites and, where appropriate, safeguarded wharves, as well as the provision of recycling facilities at aggregate extraction sites, should be capable of meeting the anticipated future requirement within London to achieve a more beneficial re-use of this material.

[130] Based on CDE waste data interrogator data 2015. Estimate only as actual CDE waste performance data is not available and not a requirement to report. Actual performance likely to be higher as waste reused or recycled on- site is not reported through the waste data interrogator.

When it is intended to export waste to landfill outside of London, it will be important to show that the receiving authority has the capacity to deal with waste over the lifetime of the development. This will also help receiving authorities plan for future needs.

Further guidance on Circular Economy Statements will be produced.