How are we tackling climate change?

Our priority is preserving resources for future generations by reducing waste, recycling where possible and minimising the environmental impact of non-recyclable waste. In doing so, we are helping to tackle the Climate Emergency that has been declared by north London’s boroughs.

The best way for our residents to reduce the carbon impact of their waste is to produce less of it in the first place. That’s why we run wide-reaching waste prevention campaigns – the largest in London – to encourage our residents to reduce their waste and reuse materials. This, together with increased recycling, is absolutely critical to reducing the carbon impact of north London’s waste in the future.

We also have a responsibility to manage the waste that can’t be recycled. All waste contains carbon, and every disposal method generates greenhouse gases. We can minimise this impact by avoiding landfill and treating non-recyclable waste as a resource for society, in the form of low-carbon heat and power. Our new Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) will achieve exactly this.

Based on a 2019 report, the new ERF will have a carbon impact equivalent to 28,000 tonnes of CO2 when it starts operating. Treating waste at the ERF in accordance with our waste forecasts will save the equivalent of 215,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year compared to sending it to landfill.

The carbon impact of our ERF is so low because:

  • it avoids methane generated by landfill, which is a highly damaging greenhouse gas at least 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide;
  • displaces heat and electricity that would otherwise be generated by virgin fossil fuels (like natural gas); and
  • recovers thousands of tonnes of metals for recycling.