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Red Ken wants London to look after its own waste

London's boroughs could soon be dealing with the vast majority of their waste rather than sending it outside the capital to landfill sites if Ken Livingstone has his way.

The Mayor of London has published for consultation a plan to increase the number of recycling facilities in the capital.

It calls for an extra 208 recycling plants and over 60 composting facilities in London to process 45% of municipal waste and 70% of business waste.

New technologies will also be encouraged to dispose of London's waste, although the report makes clear that incineration is the least preferred method of disposal with mechanical biological treatment most favoured. Current incinerator capacity would also be re-orientated towards non-recyclable residual waste.

The plan is that this would meet a target that London should manage 85% of the municipal waste it creates within the city's boundaries instead of sending waste to landfill in surrounding areas.

Ken Livingstone said: "In London, we need to be more self-sufficient in the way we manage our waste - currently most of our municipal waste is taken to landfill dumps in areas outside the city, which is completely unacceptable.

"The lack of London-wide government after the abolition of the Greater London Council has hampered the strategic management of London's municipal waste and now is time for this to change.

"This is why I want a single waste authority for London able to plan and build these new facilities."

Several London boroughs have been named in the report as providing the greatest opportunities for new sites.

These are: Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Newham, Hackney, Brent, Ealing, Hillingdon, Enfield, Waltham Forest, Haringey, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth and Kensington and Chelsea.

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