London is about to become one of the recycling capitals of the world, after its Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced a new £70 million fund to set up infrastructure for low carbon usage and recycling. As a result, London will now lead the world in profiting from recycling and waste, creating energy from recyclables and developing skills in recycling.
The Foresight Group, which is a leading industry group in its field, will manage the fund, on behalf of the London Green Fund. The new fund will be known as The Foresight Environmental Fund. Funding of £35 million, from the London Green Fund, will be matched with an additional £35 million from local council pension funds plus other investors.
In total, Foresight is aiming to bring in a further £200 million of investment. The London Green Fund is the first such fund in the UK to use a combination of private, public and EU funding for green infrastructure.
Boris Johnson, commenting, said that London was built on carbon infrastructure; however, it was a shift away from carbon infrastructure that would determine its future. As a result, there will be major cost savings and many new jobs created, which will ultimately lead to a better quality of life for the citizens of the capital.
London Waste and Recycling Board has committed over half of the initial £35 million to the fund, a total of £18 million. Its chair, James Cleverley, said that the fund would provide a huge impetus to the low carbon economy in the capital.
The current figures make for interesting reading – the capital produces over two and a half million tons of organic waste per annum, with potential revenues of £170 million. London also produces nearly 300.000 tons of plastic waste every year, most of which just ends up being sent to landfill sites however it has a potential value of nearly £150 million.
In addition to the obvious economic benefits, the recycling boom could create over 100 jobs, save nearly 30,000 tons of carbon and recycle nearly a quarter of a million tons of waste that would otherwise go to landfill. As well as having the most green space of any capital city in the world, therefore, it would appear that London has a lot to offer in terms of green economic opportunities and could show the world a thing or two. It’s just a matter of ‘watch this space’.