Letter: Energy from London's waste

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The Independent Online
Sir: Mr Clement of the London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC) is right to draw attention to London's acute shortage of landfill (Letters, 7 August). But the solution he outlines assumes a conflict between recovering energy from waste and recycling that is illusory.

To move towards more sustainable waste management, in line with public aspiration and Government policy, we must pursue an integrated solution. Of course London should recycle more, though LPAC's new target (40 per cent) is heroic indeed. But a moratorium on new energy from waste plants in London will not of itself recycle one more bottle or can. It will however result in the landfilling of millions more tonnes of waste, with the associated emissions of methane - a potent global warming gas.

A balanced approach such as that taken in other European capitals - far from calling for yet more delay - demands that much needed new energy from waste capacity is developed in parallel with major efforts to increase recycling and composting, so as to optimise value recovery overall. In this way wider environmental aims can also be met, such as greenhouse gas reduction and increased generation from renewable sources.


Director, Energy from Waste Association

London W2