In north London’s seven boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest, managing our waste continues to be a big challenge. In north London, your councils collect about 850,000 tonnes of waste every year. Around 670,000 tonnes of that waste comes from households.
At the moment north Londoners only recycle 32% of their household waste – we need to do more of this because the materials you separate for recycling can be sold to manufacturers to be made into something new. This saves money and resources, and makes more money available to your council for other things, like essential local services, which is great for your community.
Nearly half of the 850,000 tonnes of waste your councils collect is incinerated at our energy-from-waste incinerator in Edmonton, much of which could have been recycled. We do what we can to get the most out of this waste though - the incinerator generates electricity that is fed back into the National Grid to power homes and businesses.
But 11% of north London's waste goes to landfill. Sending our waste to landfill sites is bad for the environment and very expensive. Because the government doesn’t want us to do this anymore there is a tax on every tonne of waste that we send to landfill.
So, over the coming years, we need to change the way we deal with our waste. By 2020 we need to recycle at least 50% of our household waste, and reduce the amount of waste we produce in the first place, as well as drastically reducing the amount that goes to landfill.
This will be better for the environment, and better for council tax payers as it means the cost of waste disposal will go down, leaving more money for important things like schools and care homes.
- Shop smart – By insisting on less packaging on the things we buy, not buying more than we need, and not using plastic carrier bags, we can make a massive difference straight away.
- Waste less – If we don’t create waste in the first place, we don’t have to dispose of it, and we can all come up with ways of doing things like running our households or businesses so that we create less waste.
- Recycle more – With north Londoners recycling only around 30% of their waste, there’s plenty more we can do to recycle much more of the rubbish we do create, and use it to positive effect for our communities.
Whether you're a resident, business, school or part of a community group you can play your part in helping north London to reduce waste and increase recycling rates.