The UK’s government are currently attending a UN conference on climate change and trying to find ways to curb our greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, London’s Mayor is attempting to curb excessive waste disposal by Businesses and corporations.
The mayor has implemented a number of recycling initiatives to reduce waste. This year alone the Congestion charge was extended to cover greater London . The aim is to increase the amount of waste being recycled from the 20 percent predicted in 2003 to over 60 percent.
Londoners produce 3.4 million tonnes of rubbish each year, a large proportion of which is electrical and electronic waste. The implementation of the WEEE directive in 2007 aimed to curb this problem by getting us to recycle our old Televisions, computers and general electrical waste. In Greater London, where businesses predominate, the issue of waste electronic equipment is more predominant and constitutes the majority of hardware disposed of each year.
London businesses are constantly uprgading computer systems, buying replacement shredders and replacing out-of-date photocopiers, faxes and printers. The waste by-product was previously discarded in the general waste stream, which ended up on a barge heading for an incinerator further down the Thames Estury.
The Recycle for London initiative, founded by and headed up by the Mayor of London, was implemented to help reduce this waste. Long before the WEEE directive came into force, London businesses were recycling their paper, plastics and toner cartridges. The WEEE directive meant that it became a legal requirement for offices to recycle their old electronics as well. In Greater London, this has had the impact of many new Companies springing up to meet with the demands of the thousands of businesses needing to recycle their old computers, servers, faxes, photocopiers and printers.
It’s also had the added effect of reducing the work carried out by waste disposal firms in London, which are funded by Council taxes. The result, in the long term will be a redistribution of the cash gleaned from taxes into more urgent sectors.