A new report says London dumps the most rubbish of any major city in Europe (which comes as no surprise to us). The Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling looked at waste management across the EU and found that we chuck 52% of our crap into landfill.
Though we compare quite well on recycling (22%) to, say, Paris (19%) and Lisbon (10%), we incinerate far less than our continental neighbours. Copenhagen, yet again polishing Denmark's credentials for high standards of living, sends just 1% of its rubbish to landfill, using less than we do to start with and recycling or burning the rest to create energy. (We're moving towards that model, but it's still controversial with environmental groups.) Other cities even get better bin collections than we do. Bucharest has collections twice a day in the height of their (admittedly much hotter) summer, falling to a still impressive twice a week in winter.
Councils will have to pay £48 per tonne of landfill waste from 2010-11 so we can expect an improvement. But our recycling facilities are still a mess, and when different councils have different policies about what they'll take that it's no wonder some people just give up. We, for example, have a knackered blender and printer sitting at home that we have no idea what to do with. (Any tips for a Lewisham resident?) (Photo by thingermejig from the Londonist Flickr pool)