What should a sustainable waste management system look like?

If we were to design, from scratch, a sustainable waste management system for London suitable for the twenty first century, what would it look like?This is the topic of the first web-based ‘provocation’ launched by London REMADE. The starting point for the debate is a series of four essays, one of which was written by Professor David C Wilson. The format is truly participative – you can take part online simply by clicking ‘join the debate’ and adding your comment, amending what the original authors or other commentators have said or writing your own essay.

London REMADE is London’s independent promoter of resource efficiency and has built an extensive cross-sectoral network of experienced resource management practitioners. Now that the original funding has finished, it has relaunched itself as an independent environmental, economic and social think tank, which is unrestricted by sectoral or political interest or reliance on a funding source. The programme of provocations will consider resources in the broadest sense – materials, finances, people, infrastructure, institutions – and explore how they might be developed, deployed and distributed in  London in the most sustainable way.

The first provocation essays are:

Essay 1 – Extreme producer responsiblity – where’s the decongestion charge? Kit Strange, resource Recovery Forum

Essay 2 – Sustainable waste & resource management – challenging the underlying assumptions. Professor David C Wilson

Essay 3 – The analogies from history. Dr Julian Parfitt, Resources Futures

Essay 4 – Just follow the money. David Fell, Brook Lyndhurst. 

The essays suggest that the pattern and manner of waste collection inLondon is an historical accident. There is no reason to suppose that the current regime is ‘the best’. A waste management system built upon nineteenth century boundaries and twentieth century political assumptions is at odds with the economic, social and environmental objectives this century presents.

Click here to take part in the debate and to read the current state of the essays including contributions and rewrites from all the contributors, This is a unique opportunity through an open and interactive site to engage in deep and expansive debate between stakeholders throughout and beyond London. The outcome from each debate will be synthesised and available online for all to see and use.