Murad Qureshi AM, Labour’s environment spokesman on the London Assembly, has called for London’s autumn leaves to be used more strategically after it emerged that many of them are disposed of like ordinary litter.
Leaves swept from streets are considered likely to be contaminated with other rubbish. However, Murad believes that a more strategic approach to promoting composting by councils could see more of this kind of natural waste used to good advantage.
"A good amount of autumn leaves could be usefully made into compost", Murad claims. "It seems too many local authorities are sending the leaves they collect to landfill, which is a big waste. The Mayor, as official Chair of the London Waste and Recycling Board, needs to take a creative approach to natural waste like leaves and garden refuse. There is the potential for some innovative ideas to be looked at. If the boroughs could be encouraged to co-ordinate their leaf collections and deal with them in a way that reduces waste it could benefit everyone. Boroughs could develop their own compost supplies or we could even look at a Londonwide compost heap!"
The London Waste and Recycling Board looks at ways to strategically reduce the use of landfill. Murad added: "According to reports, England and Wales’ local authorities are paying £1.5million a year on putting leaves in landfill. I believe there must be ways to reduce this and if this could provide good quality compost for the capital’s gardeners then that would be a winner for everyone."