About us

The East London Waste Authority (ELWA) was established on 1 January 1986 as a Statutory Waste Disposal Authority (WDA), responsible for the disposal of waste collected by the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham and Redbridge. The boroughs have a combined population of around one million people living in over 400,000 households, and are each responsible for the collection of household waste in their areas. Approximately 450,000 tonnes of waste is delivered to ELWA by the boroughs each year for disposal. 

The conventional practice for many years was to send this waste to landfill but the rising cost and environmental concerns of that option, as well as the increasing perception of waste as a resource, led ELWA to seek alternative ways to manage it. 

In 1996, ELWA developed the Integrated Waste Management Strategy (IWMS), aimed at increasing recycling and composting and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. The strategy was designed to strike the best possible balance between costs and environmental impact. In 2002 ELWA signed a 25 year contract with Shanks PLC (now ‘Renewi’ following a merger), to deliver the IWMS. Renewi invested over £100 million in new and improved facilities and new ways to treat and transport waste.

More recently we have started to look towards what will come after the current contract. We have developed a new Joint Strategy for East London’s Resources and Waste that has already been through its consultation stage and we hope will be formally adopted by all Partners early in 2022. This Joint Strategy will be the foundation of the forthcoming procurement.