The collection, treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste arisings in London: key recommendations to ensure compliance with European Commission Directive led drivers and targets

  • Ernest John Sharp

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Waste Strategy 2000 (Waste Strategy for England and Wales) laid out a fairly conservative agenda for the future of waste management in England as it responded to the developing EU Legislative drive for sustainable practice. A careful analysis of the Strategy, in around 2001, whereby likely future delivery was compared to EU requirements revealed that the UK (being disaggregated into 4 separate strategies) was unlikely to meet targets, in particular the Landfill Directive. The production of the Strategy Unit report Waste Not Want Not (2002) signalled up the requirement for a rapid increase in the rate of adoption of more sustainable practice. Waste Strategy 2007 took forward the need for more sustainable practice to meet targets in a cost effective manner.

This research agenda approaches the topic from considering the action taken by the Mayor of London and the 33 London Borough waste management authorities to comply with the European Directives on waste management. Firstly, starting with an extensive literature review to ascertain current practice, and based on rigorous methods of methodology the research investigated the techniques utilised by the municipal waste collection authorities to overcome the barriers to achieving compliance. This research revealed a significant increase in resource recovery from the municipal solid waste arising in London combined with a more than corresponding decrease in biodegradable waste being disposed in landfill. Secondly the assistance produced by Government Departments e.g. DEFRA was closely studied to evaluate the effectiveness and value for money of the projects and campaigns instigated as a result of Government intervention. Data gathered from the collection, treatment and disposal areas and case studies from several different types of waste management projects indicate that London waste management is in compliance with the requisite legislation and is on target to achieve the aims and objectives of the European Commission Framework Directive and the Waste Strategy. Thirdly, the annual increase in the population of London has encouraged a requirement for innovation in waste and resource management. The innovation has been assisted by the need for additional resource management facilities, an improvement in planning procedure and financial incentive.

This research offers a unique insight into the developing agenda within London. Original data sets have led to the identification of barriers and success factors for best practice to meet European Commission Directive led Drivers and Targets.
Date of Award2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorPaul S Phillips (Supervisor)

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