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Cheap heat for a million homes—pure rubbish, says City Hall

PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:09 05 October 2010

LONDON's rubbish could be used to generate electricity for up to two million homes, a City Hall report out today estimates. We produce 22 million tonnes of waste a year, enough to fill Canary Wharf Tower every eight days, or heat up to 625,000 homes.

By Mike Brooke

LONDON's rubbish could be used to generate electricity for up to two million homes, a City Hall report out today estimates.

We produce 22 million tonnes of waste every year, enough to fill East London's iconic Canary Wharf Tower every eight days, or heat up to 625,000 homes.

Most of it is taken off and buried in landfill sites, which is no longer sustainable, the London Assembly's report Where There's Muck There's Brass points out.

It is time London had an alternative strategy such as 'waste energy' conversion, says the Assembly's environment committee.

"London's waste manageme\nt is unsustainable and uneconomical," said environment chair Murad Qureshi. "Our recommendations are pragmatic and will contribute to a rapid rollout of these technologies that turn waste into a useful commodity."

But existing long-term contracts for treatment of municipal waste make it difficult for companies to get waste material, it warns.

The report calls on the London Waste Recycling Board to provide details on all Town Hall contracts and to advise how to "generate waste streams" to supply new plants, which could also reduce London's CO2 emissions by 1.2 million tonnes.

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