Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Mayor calls for energy from waste

Boris Johnson
Producing gas from rubbish could help cut carbon dioxide emissions

London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched plans to convert London's food waste into fuel in a bid to cut landfill rates and carbon dioxide emissions.

The mayor's Foodwaste to Fuel Alliance aims to deliver five new bio-fuel plants in London by 2012 to extract fuel from leftover food.

The scheme could act as an alternative to fossil fuels to produce a greener energy to heat and power homes.

Currently more than half of London's rubbish ends up in landfill.

The capital produces around 22 million tonnes of waste a year, enough to fill Canary Wharf tower every eight days.

'Absolutely determined'

London's rubbish could be used to generate enough energy to power two million homes and provide heat for 625,000 houses, a report from the London Assembly's environment committee's has shown.

The Where There's Muck There's Brass report suggests that producing gas from the rubbish could cut London's carbon dioxide emissions by 1.2 million tonnes.

I am absolutely determined to see that London's reservoirs of used oil and mountains of leftovers are converted into a greener fuel
Boris Johnson, London mayor

The report also says creating gas from rubbish will help meet government targets to source 15% of the UK's total energy from renewable sources.

Murad Qureshi, chairman of the London Assembly environment committee, said: "The mayor must take the lead on further measures to help jump-start a waste management step change.

"Waste to energy technology will help the capital reduce greenhouse gases, cut down on waste sent to landfill, increase renewable energy generation, benefit the economy and create jobs."

The technologies currently face a number of barriers, including public opposition and problems obtaining planning consent.

"London is currently throwing away valuable food waste that could be used instead to produce an eco-fuel for businesses and homes," said Mr Johnson.

"I am absolutely determined to see that London's reservoirs of used oil and mountains of leftovers are converted into a greener fuel saving millions of pounds off energy bills."

BAA, Keystone and Sainsbury's were the first firms to join the Foodwaste to Fuel Alliance.

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