The London Assembly has called on mayor Sadiq Khan to use the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) £11bn-a-year budget to promote circular economy (CE) businesses and services, in a bid to reduce waste.
A report on waste issued by the assembly’s environment committee estimated that 12,000 new jobs could be created in the capital by 2030 if it moved to a CE model.
It said this could reduce waste by 60% by 2041 and boost London’s economy by £7bn.
The assembly applauded efforts to promote a CE by the London Waste and Recycling Board, which has produced a ‘route map’.
The mayor’s draft environmental strategy also highlights the CE, and sets out an ambition to make London carbon-neutral by 2050 and to have a 65% recycling rate by 2030.
But the report said the mayor could not rely on the environmental strategy alone, and urged him to “show leadership” by influencing the GLA’s procurement policies.
It said: “The mayor should use the purchasing power of the GLA Group to encourage the growth of London’s CE. The GLA group spends £11bn a year on procurement activities.”
The report warned that population growth in the capital will lead to an extra one million tonnes of waste being produced unless measures are taken.
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Environment committee chair Leonie Cooper, pictured, said: “The way we deal with waste in London needs to change. Recycling rates have fallen, the population continues to grow and landfill space is quickly running out.
“The mayor needs to take a visible lead in pushing the CE forward. This should start with ensuring that organisations in the GLA Group procure goods and services in line with its principles.
“The mayor should set a whole-city vision which includes specific milestones towards growing the CE. Awareness also needs to be vastly improved among London’s businesses and an outreach programme led by the mayor would address these issues.”
Jeremy Jacobs, head of Organics Recycling at the Renewable Energy Association, said the report was a ”milestone” in tackling declining recycling rates in the capital.
He added: “Wales and Scotland have significantly improved recycling rates by introducing a mandatory separate food waste collection scheme, and independent economic analysis conducted by Eunomia Consulting shows that in England, local authorities can assist in reducing costs by introducing a mandatory separate collection of food waste, if action is taken by central Government.
”We call on the Government in Westminster to take action nationally by introducing separate food waste collections.”