The Mayor of London and the South East and East of England Regional Assemblies, representing over 20 million people, are committed to increasing recycling and creating opportunities to re-use waste. The Advisory Forum on Regional Planning for London, the South East and the East of England agreed that the three regions needed to work together to tackle this problem.

Each year over five million tonnes of household and commercial waste from London is sent to the East of England (3.5m) and the South East (1.5m). The vast majority ends up in landfill.

The Mayor is committed to increasing London's self-sufficiency for waste in the London Plan. A commitment to tackle the problem was jointly made at the last meeting of the Advisory Forum.

 

Deputy Mayor of London, Nicky Gavron said:  "We need a fundamental shift in our thinking. Waste should be seen as a resource to be recycled and processed, not buried or burned. We can reduce our use of new resources and help tackle climate change while creating new jobs in the recycling and waste management industries. Support from our neighbouring regions for a London single waste authority to do just that and create the supply chains for new green industries would be greatly welcomed".

 

Cllr John Reynolds from the East of England said: "We must reduce our reliance on landfill; it simply isn't a sustainable way of using valuable resources. The East of England is planning for major growth over the next twenty years and we have better uses for our land than filling holes with rubbish."

Cllr Christine Field of the South East England Regional Assembly said:

"We need a radical re-think on the way we treat waste. It is not acceptable to continue to transport vast quantities from London to be discarded in the South East and East of England. Waste materials must be regarded as a valuable resource, so we must work together to maximise recycling and promote re-using materials."

 

The three regions all made a commitment to work together and with the development agencies exploring ways to use waste as a resource.