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Next Mayor must 'harmonise' waste collection

London skyline

Waste collection services must be “harmonised” across London and the next Mayor must commit to the capital becoming a zero waste city, environmental charity the Green Alliance has urged.

Ahead of the Mayoral elections in May the charity and think-tank has published a report with ambitious proposals on how the elected candidate could transform the capital into a healthier, greener city with a better quality of life for its inhabitants.

The report argued: “One straightforward system would increase the quantity and quality of recycling. It would make public communication campaigns cheaper and clearer and would mean that transient populations would not have to learn a new system every time they moved borough.

“The mayor has the power to convene and broker agreements across London’s local authorities and work with waste companies to achieve a unified recycling system for the city.”

The report Greener London: what the next mayor can do to improve our capital also calls for more circular economy working with the GLA group to be lead procurer of circular economy goods and services in the UK which, would provide markets for materials recycled in the city and save the public sector money. The group consists of the Greater London Authority, Transport for London, Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and the London Fire Emergency Planning Authority.

Greener London also proposed for the new Mayor to encourage boroughs to invest in renewable heat schemes that recycle energy. It points to the scheme in Bunhill in Islington where waste heat from the underground is helping to heat 700 homes.

It called for London to increase solar power use and aimed for all new commercial buildings to have green roofs or solar panels.

Tackling air pollution was a lead concern with the figure that 9,500 Londoners died prematurely in 2010 due to air pollution.

Other proposals include replacing all the buses in the network with zero emission buses by 2018; phasing out diesel taxis and minicabs; saving green spaces and creating new wildlife areas; improving energy efficiency in the private rented sector.

The report has support from groups such as Friends of the Earth, the WWF, RSPB, Greenpeace, and Campaign for Better Transport and numerous London based consultants and organisations.

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