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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Recycling Notting Hill Carnival


Clearing up after a party is always a headache even a handful of friends can manage to leave enough rubbish to fill a heap of black bin bags. Clearing up a million ‘guests’ who have been eating, drinking and shedding feathers in Notting Hill all weekend is on an entirely different scale.

Veolia, under contract to Westminster Council, employed 170 staff and 30 vehicles to remove 200 tonnes of rubbish from the streets. And for your Notting Hill Carnival ‘Trivial Pursuit’ quiz, you’ll need to know that over 150 brooms were used to sweep more than 100 streets!

Cllr David Harvey commented: “Our council officers and Veolia have done us proud. The transformation is staggering.” And, far from treating the operation as a dreaded chore, Veolia’s senior contract manager Helder Branco embraced the task with enthusiasm: “While the clean-up following Notting Hill Carnival represents a sizeable challenge, it’s one we relish because it’s a real team effort.” We commend his positive spirit to some of the other agencies involved with Carnival.

Plastic bottles, beer cans and food packaging comprised the majority of the detritus. However, sequins, inflatables and costume parts also added colour to the mix.

It doesn’t all go to waste: 10 tonnes of waste was recycled, while the rest was converted into green energy and fed into the National Grid. That produced an estimated 20,000kWh of heat and 100,000kWh of electricity. The energy was enough to produce 800,000 hot showers or 700,000 cups of tea.

But who will take up the challenge of calculating how much energy masqueraders, steelpan players and revellers expend at Carnival? We’d guess it would be enough to keep the capital’s lights on for a day or two!