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Capital's commercial waste collections to be ‘consolidated’

2000 london skyline

London mayor Sadiq Khan has outlined plans to introduce single waste contractors to manage collections within specified districts.

Khan launched a draft environmental strategy for London on 11 August, including a series of detailed proposals to help the capital reach a 65% municipal recycling target by 2030.

Boosting commercial recycling collections is key to this target, and it could lead to waste companies competing to gain a monopoly in designated Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). 

BIDs, based in a geographical area in which local businesses agree to invest together to improve their environment, were introduced to London in 2005. As of 2015, were were 36 operation in high streets and town centres in the capital. 

A consultation on the draft strategy said: “The mayor will support efforts to consolidate commercially collected waste services to improve recycling performance, reduce congestion, improve the public realm and improve air quality.”

Consolidated commercial collections have been piloted along Bond Street in London and in New York. The consultation said these had been successful in helping to reduce the number of collection vehicles, with a 94% drop in waste vehicle movements in Bond Street.

Transport for London (TfL) went on to develop a free toolkit to help businesses consolidate their waste collection services. New York is to set up a commercial waste zone system across the entire city, where waste collection companies bid to provide commercial waste and recycling services.

Khan is to work with TfL and BIDs to “look at the feasibility of a commercial waste framework in London”.

The consultation said: “He will also work with Defra and waste companies to improve commercial waste data, ensuring that all waste operators in London are using Electronic Duty of Care (Edoc) to record what happens to the waste they produce and handle. This improved data will allow opportunities for consolidated services to be identified more easily.”

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