Improving air quality in north London

26 Jun 2019

Clean Air Day is an important day for North London Waste Authority (NLWA). We’re working hard to improve air quality in north London by minimising waste, maximising recycling and dealing with the waste that can’t be recycled in the most environmentally-sound way.

Our top priority is for residents to reduce their waste, so we can cut out vehicle miles and pollution in the disposal service. We’re making great strides through our award-winning waste prevention programme which has helped prevent over 10,000 tonnes of waste every year. Our initiatives like Save Our Stuff, Repair Cafes, The London Upcycling Show - plus many more Wise Up To Waste activities - highlight how residents can do this.

It’s well known that decomposing waste in landfill produces highly potent greenhouse and toxic gases. It’s bad for local air quality too because sending our waste to landfill would generate thousands of additional lorry trips- travelling greater distances- each year to the available sites outside of London. Traffic emissions are one of London’s main causes of pollution, and our ambition is to cut this down as much as possible.

In support of this, the Authority is working with its contractors to modernise vehicles for transporting waste to meet future ULEZ standards (Euro VI). A share of our waste is also transported by rail further reducing the associated road emissions.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Chair of NLWA, champions the clean air cause stating:

“Every lorry and every mile we cut out of disposal services, every tonne of waste we work together to reduce and how we treat the waste left over plays a crucial role in improving air quality for everyone.”

We’re proud of our track record of diverting waste from landfill. We’ve already diverted 21 million tonnes of waste since 1971 when our energy from waste facility opened at Edmonton EcoPark, and we’re investing in a world-class facility to continue treating our residents’ waste in north London.

The new facility will use cutting-edge technology for nitrogen dioxide removal (known as Selective Catalytic Reduction) to deliver one of the cleanest facilities in the country. We’re currently operating at 20% better than the Environment Agency’s safe standards, and the new facility will perform even better at 60%. The facilities for receiving waste will have state of the art systems to control odour so that it doesn’t impact nearby residents and businesses.  

For more information on North London Waste Authority and practical steps to reduce waste please visit or You can also learn more about our plans to replace our energy from waste facility at