Friday, July 14, 2017

Trash to Cash

An estimated £238 million worth of reusable or recyclable textiles was sent by Londoners to landfill in a year [1 page 38]. In fact - London throws away nearly 4 billion tonnes of waste each year[2]. Could a circular economy prevent this waste - and turn trash into cash?

  • A circular economy involves recirculating materials after use by repair or recycling
  • Recognising ‘waste’ as a commodity and minimising the amount we throw away
The benefits include:
  • Environmental: through reduced carbon emissions, reduced demand for raw materials and less waste to dispose of.
  • Economic: by reducing materials costs to businesses, reducing the cost of new goods to consumers, and job creation (up to 40,000 by 2030)[3].
  • Social: through community-building and skill gains coming from the creation of community and third-sector enterprises to meet local needs and fill gaps left by larger businesses.
Would a circular economy work in London?

The London Assembly Environment Committee yesterday (Thursday 13 July) began its investigation into waste management. This meeting focussed on reducing London’s waste and enabling the circular economy. It’s on Youtube.

The guests were:
  • Dr Liz Goodwin, Chair, London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB)
  • Clare Ollerenshaw, Circular Economy Manager, LWARB
  • Andy Richmond, Policy & Programmes Manager, Greater London Authority (GLA)
  • Keith James, Textiles Delivery Manager, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
  • Rebecca Trevalyan, Chief Lending Officer, Library of Things
  • Viv Taylor, Head of Growth & Marketing, OLIO
The investigation will continue with two further meetings on household recycling collections and energy from waste.

We await the outcome with intrepidation ...


  1. I think you mean TREPIDATION mate?

    1. Nope. I meant "intrepidation". A feeling of complete daring and utter adventurousness.

    2. As a card-carrying pedant I use only the Oxford dictionary. Never seen the Urban one. Apologies.