Agenda item

Lambeth Waste Strategy update


The report was introduced by the Deputy Leader of the Council (Environment and Clean Air), Councillor Claire Holland. She highlighted that:

·           The Waste Strategy ran from 2011-2031 and this report provided a framework for continuous improvement and review given the climate emergency, with proposals for achievable targets, improved customer access and digital services; whilst responding to resident consultation.

·           Waste was a universal service and there had been a considerable consultation response.


Cabinet next heard from Councillor Pete Elliott, Green Party Opposition Standards and Monitoring Member, who gave the following representations:

·           It was welcomed that the report referred to tackling pollution and filtered throughout the Council’s activities; but targets lacked ambition with a less than 6% decrease in residual waste per household.

·           There was no mention of Lambeth’s high levels of waste incineration.

·           The Council was committed to removing single-use plastics, but needed to lobby and work with local businesses beyond Lambeth’s remit and prospective event organisers.  The report only detailed six additional water fountains, but more would be needed to have an effect.

·           It was hoped that Lambeth would be a trailblazer and set bolder targets.


Cabinet Members provided the following representations:

·           The challenging Strategy was commended, with the good recycling for street properties noted; however, increasing recycling and use of fixed-charge penalty notices were needed.

·           Further work with street champions and education could improve recycling rates in flats.

·           It was queried if the Western Riverside Waste Authority was in synchronisation with the Strategy.

·           Officers would respond to Councillor Elliott on measures to improve incineration of waste.


In response to questions, officers and Cabinet Members advised that:

·           The targets were ambitious, but the difficulty of recycling from flats and estates was noted, and there were trials in place and review of other boroughs’ policies.  However, the Strategy included increasing recycling targets from 32% to 37% whilst other boroughs had decreased theirs.

·           There were further review periods in 2022, and ongoing through 2025-2030.

·           Carbon reduction formed a significant part of the Waste Strategy.

·           The Council was focused on reducing single-use plastics, and had an action plan and working groups to do so, but it was noted the Council could apply further pressure on businesses.  The importance of and current projects on working in partnership, in addition to the events strategy review detailing that organisers met policies, was noted.

·           The Western Riverside Waste Authority was generally aligned and had state-of-the-art recovery for materials, but was not aligned on food waste recycling, although the contract allowed for this to be taken elsewhere.  There were also plans to develop the Belvedere site to handle more recycling and would provide greater alignment with the borough’s proposals.


The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jack Hopkins, summarised the discussion as follows:

·           He noted that Lambeth was one of the first boroughs to declare a climate emergency, and had been improving food waste collection, LED light installation, and other climate-friendly measures for a considerable time and had an impressive track record.

·           He concluded by thanking officers and representations into the Strategy.



1.         To approve the Waste Strategy Update.


Supporting documents: