Labour’s Mayoral candidate for London Sadiq Khan has pledged to ‘reinvigorate’ the capital’s efforts on recycling, aiming to work towards a 65% target for the city by 2030.
The MP for Tooting, who has today (9 March) launched his manifesto ahead of the City Hall election on 5 May, said that the city needed to ‘up its game’ on resource efficiency. He also promised to lead on efforts to reduce London’s ‘waste footprint’ including working to increase recycling and cut waste to landfill.
Writing in the manifesto, Mr Khan said: “London also needs to up its game on resource efficiency – we still produce too much waste and don’t recycle enough, and we don’t treat water like the scarce resource it is.”
He added that he would: “Reinvigorate efforts to increase the amount London recycles, so that we get back on track with hitting the 65% target by 2030, including seeing waste as an opportunity to create jobs in reuse, repair, remanufacturing and materials innovation.”
Additionally, Mr Khan said he would: “Make sure City Hall and all other GLA buildings maintain the highest environmental standards on heating, lighting and waste.”
The recycling rate across London’s 32 boroughs currently sits at around 33% – with the capital home to some of the country’s lowest performing recycling authorities, including Lewisham and Newham who clocked recycling rates of 17.1% and 17.2% respectively in 2014/15.
Challenges across the city include improving recycling participation in flats, communicating effectively with a diverse population and re-educating residents who have moved from borough to borough.
Mr Khan’s comments follow on from the publication of the London Assembly Environment Committee’s ‘Growing, growing, gone – Long-term sustainable growth for London’ report, launched today, which sets out a range of environmental policy recommendations for the incoming Mayor (see letsrecycle.com story). Among the policies highlighted in the report is a move to ‘standardise’ recycling collection systems across the capital.
Questioned about the prospect of a single unified system for recycling in the capital at a green hustings on Friday (4 March), Mr Khan said he thought it is ‘unrealistic’ to take local control away from authorities, but if elected London Mayor he would work together with local authorities to ensure that they get the best deal on new contracts for refuse.