London Mayor Boris Johnson excitedly pledged to promote waste as a resource as he chaired the first meeting of the London Waste and Recycling Board.
Johnson said he wanted the Board to have a great impact working with London boroughs and implementing waste management policy.
As its first act, the Board committed to another years funding, of £1.5m, for the Recycle for London Campaign. It also agreed to set up a Policy Committee that will take forward priority policies and advise on how the £84m London Waste and Recycling Fund will be disbursed. The Committee will allow the Board to identify strategic proposals and receive bids through a challenge fund.
Other policies the Board will focus on include driving up recycling rates, infrastructure, rewards for recyclers, innovative schemes and how to keep Londoners informed of their recycling options, Johnson said.
Potential uses for waste as fuel and housing materials will also be promoted by the Board.
Johnson said: I want it to become insulting to refer to the things that we throw away as waste.
I am determined to use the Board to increase Londons recycling rate dramatically. I am confident we can do this because the board assembled here is the A Team. We can use our expertise to do something wonderful, he said.
Johnson also briefly announced his vision for the Board and said he will be preparing a new Municipal Waste Management Strategy that will reveal his expectations in detail.
Recommendations that could become part of the strategy and a 10 year plan for the board will be discussed in more depth at an away day, with energy-from-waste plant SELCHP suggested as a possible venue.
Johnson said that the vision would be presented at the next meeting on December 11 2008.
Image London Mayor Boris Johnson is chairman of the London Waste and Recycling Board. A full list of Board members was published earlier this year (see MRW story).