A potential goldmine of work for architects is going begging because London is not building enough recycling facilities, the Green Party has said.
Figures released by London Mayor Ken Livingstone show that the capital is failing to close the gap between the number of waste facilities needed and the numbers approved by the local authorities.
According to the Greens, the London Plan calls for nearly 210 ‘material-reclamation plants’ to be built by 2020 – yet only four such facilities are currently in operation.
It is a similar tale when it comes to mechanical-biological treatment centres and anaerobic-digestion plants. The party states that 20 and 27 of these facilities are needed respectively but, at present, only one biological treatment plant is up and running.
Darren Johnson, Green Party member of the London Assembly said: ‘London is lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to improving recycling rates, and the capital still only recycles a fifth of the waste it produces.
He added: ‘People like the idea of recycling, but they are often concerned about these facilities being built in their area because of fears over smell and vermin.
‘We need to convince local people that this new generation of recycling facilities will have state-of-the-art design. There's a wealth of work out there for architects to design buildings that are less local dump and more eco-celebration.’