What about the drive to a circular economy?

The circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. North London Waste Authority (NLWA) runs a range of initiatives, working in line with the waste hierarchy, to help residents reduce their waste, reuse and recycle more.  

In line with the waste hierarchy, once economically recyclable materials have been collected, energy from waste remains the best option for treating residual waste by putting waste to further use and thereby displacing virgin fossil fuels.

Even when north London reaches its recycling targets there will still be waste left over that needs to be dealt with. NLWA wants to divert waste otherwise sent to landfill and instead use it to generate power to homes and businesses. As well as putting waste to further use, the new Energy Recovery Facility will generate 78 Megawatts of power which can supply low carbon electricity and heat for up to 127,000 homes.

The capacity of the proposed Energy Recovery Facility will not undermine the achievement of high rates of recycling. EU countries with the highest recycling rates also have high rates of energy recovery reflecting the sustainability of the waste management market in those countries.