City of London achieves zero waste to landfill

The City of London Corporation has announcedthat it is now sending zero waste to landfill.

Containers of waste from the City of London awaiting transportation by barge to the Cory EfW plant at Belvedere
Containers of waste from the City of London awaiting transportation by barge to the Cory EfW plant at Belvedere

All residual waste collected from the City of London’s9,000 residents and street cleaning operations is being processed in Cory Environmentals 350 millionenergy-from-waste (EfW) incinerator at Belvedere in Bexley, South East London. The Belvedere EfW plant, known as the Riverside Resource Recovery facility, has the capacity to treat 585,000 tonnes of waste a year.

The waste used to be sent to landfill sites at Mucking (operated by Cory) and Pitsea (operated by Veolia) in Essex. But, as part of its waste strategy – published in 2008 – the City of London Corporation made a commitment to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill by encouraging residents to reduce waste, increase recycling and composting and deliver the remaining waste to an energy-from-waste plant.

Cory has a 30-year contract running until 2025 to treat approximately 5000 tonnes residential and street cleansing waste for the City of London Corporation per year. This is worth 1.5 million a year.

Cory's Riverside Resource Recovery facility in Belvedere
Cory’s Riverside Resource Recovery facility in Belvedere

The Belvedere plant was only handed over to Cory by its EPC contractors last month (October 11). Cory will be carrying out reliability, performance and availability trials over the next 15 months to ensure it is operating at peak performance before it is officially opened.
The Corporation of London said the plant was one of the most efficient facilities in Europe – and would generate a net of about 66MW of electricity, feeding into the National Grid with enough electricity to serve around 100,000 homes.


The City of London Corporation also made a pledge in its 2008 waste strategy to minimise the environmental impact that waste-transport has on the environment. This is being achieved by transporting residual waste to the energy-from-waste facility by barge a system which is also managed by Cory Environmental Ltd. The transfer of waste by barge saves some 12,000 lorry movements per year which both reduces the carbon footprint of the operation and helps reduce traffic congestion.

The bottom ash residues from the facility will be transported by barge to a facility further along the Thames where the metals are recovered and the remaining residues recycled into road building and construction aggregates.

John Tomlinson, Chairman of the City of London Corporations Port Health and Environmental Services Committee, said: I am delighted that we are no longer sending our waste direct to landfill. Our waste strategy is designed to deliver services with maximum environmental efficiency and we will continue to incorporate these important considerations in future programmes.

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