London's recycling rate well below national average: report

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-18 05:22:46|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LONDON, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Just a third of domestic waste generated by homes in London is currently being recycled, City Hall said Tuesday on the eve of a major summit to discuss recycling in the British capital.

With 3.6 million tonnes of household waste created in a year, the recycling rate in London is lower than the national average of 43 percent.

In total, homes, public buildings and businesses in London produce 7 million tonnes of waste each year.

One of the issues facing London is that half of the population live in apartments, rising in some boroughs to 80 percent.

Apartments often have a lack of easily accessible or sufficient storage space, making recycling expensive for local authorities to service.

In a major report last year over 85 percent of people in London polled in a survey want to recycle more.

The London Assembly's Environment Committee is to put recycling under the microscope Wednesday.

A City Hall spokesperson said much of London's household waste goes to landfill sites and incineration.

A report to the committee says the capacity of landfill sites accepting London's waste is expected to run out by 2026, with London's waste bill now in excess of 2.5 billion U.S. dollars a year. Most of the landfill sites taking household waste from the capital are outside London.

Dumping London's waste at landfill has reduced significantly over the past ten years from 65 percent to 12 percent, said the City Hall study.

This is largely due to the European Union rules which have restricted the amount of biodegradable waste that member states can send to landfill.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has set a headline target of 65 percent of all London's waste to be recycled by 2030.

"To achieve this, the average London household recycling rate must increase from 33 percent to 42 percent," said City Hall.