The Notting Hill Carnival always attracts thousands of revellers, and after this year's event the waste from the huge street party will be put to great use. For the first time, festival waste is being gathered and transferred to energy recovery sites across the capital to be used for direct recycling or to be incinerated to produce renewable energy.
Veolia, the waste management firm behind the scheme, said that it expects to be able to gather as much as 200 tonnes of rubbish from the Caribbean festival, which runs over two days in August. The resulting energy will be transferred to the National Grid.
The rubbish is expected to be sufficient to produce just under 20,000 kWh of heat, which would be sufficient to travel 84km along London's Underground or to provide a whopping 80,000 hot showers. At the same time, it will cut carbon emissions by 54 tonnes.
The clean-up itself is a huge option, requiring a committed team of 170 staff and volunteers, supported by sixty waste processing vehicles. This team works around the clock to make sure London's streets are clean and ready for the city's week to begin again for work.
Veolia's senior contract spokesman, Vincent Masseri, said that the Notting Hill clean-up was a formidable challenge, but the team relished the effort involved, especially the opportunity to do something useful with the resulting waste and ensure the carnival could operate as sustainably as possible.
Energy from Waste schemes from across the country gather up industrial, domestic and commercial waste and recover items that can be recycled before incinerating non-recyclable waste to produce energy for the National Grid or local district heating schemes. The technology is just one that helps to build a more sustainable and low-carbon economy.