Waste volumes down 4% in South London

The South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) maintained a 39% recycling rate for all the waste it handled in the first six months of the 2021/22 financial year.

The figures, which include non-household waste, were published in a report to be put before the SLWP in a meeting next week.

The SLWP handles upwards of 350,000 tonnes of waste a year from around 1 million residents in Croydon, Kingston, Merton, and Sutton.

The figures showed that overall waste volumes fell by 4% between April and December 2021 as Covid-19 restrictions eased and people returned to the office.

The data shows that recycling rates fell by half a percentage point compare to the same period in 2020, while waste arisings fell by 4%


The partnership also manages six household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) through its contract with Veolia.

Between April and December 2021, the SLWP recorded a 64% recycling rate from its network, down from 66% the previous year.

This comes as the number of users begins to fall from the high reached during the pandemic in 2020.


The SLWP manages four contracts, covering the receipt and treatment of food, green and mixed recycling, HWRC management, and an energy recovery contract.

An SLWP recycling centre in Croydon

Overall, the SLWP said the contracts were performing well but noted a few issues.

The first was at Viridor’s Beddington energy from waste (EfW) plant in Croydon.

Emission limits at the plant were breached three times, which the SLWP said “is likely to be waste with a higher than normal sulphur content (for example plasterboard)”.

The SLWP report added: “The issues were identified and appropriate action was taken. In all cases, the facility remained within its daily average limit.

“Viridor have reported these exceedances to the EA. The exceedances occurred during what the EA term as ‘abnormal operations’ – which means a technically unavoidable stoppage, or disturbance of the abatement plant or the measurement devices.”


The report also noted Viridor’s bid to increase the capacity of its plant from 347,000 to 382,000 tonnes per year (see letsrecycle.com story).

Viridor has applied to increase the capacity of its Beddington plant by 10%, 12 months after expanding it by 15%

The report added little beyond what the SLWP has already said, but noted that it will propose to work with Viridor to ensure that the contractor “raises awareness in the local community, and provides opportunities for the public to be actively involved in the consultation process”.

Overall, 97% of the SLWP’s residual waste was sent to the Beddington EfW, with 3% landfilled during a planned downtime period in May 2021.

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