Waste service strike

The waste service strike is now over and we have restarted service from 27 September 2023.

Over the next few weeks, our waste service team and private waste contractors will catch up on missed collections and street cleaning as quickly as possible.

We thank everyone for their patience and apologise for the inconvenience

Find out more

Climate emergency


London Borough of Tower Hamlets was one of the first councils in the country to declare a climate emergency and is at the forefront of addressing climate change. 

The Mayor declared a climate emergency in March 2019 and the council has committed to become a net zero carbon council by 2025 and a net zero carbon borough by 2045 or sooner.

Implementing actions and change

We are implementing our Net Zero Carbon Action Plan which sets out our goals and commitment to tackling the climate emergency.

We are delivering against our climate emergency ambitions through a number actions and decisions.


  • Sustainable Workplace programme to encourage sustainable behaviours for council employees including
    • promoting resource efficiency
    • reduction in single use plastics and elimination of plastic cups from buildings
    • introduction of food waste collection to council offices to reduce waste being sent to landfill and incineration.
  • Adopted Local Plan policies that require all new development to achieve net zero carbon status.

  • Review of council Assets for Zero Carbon retrofit feasibility. Proposals include transitioning to low carbon heating and hot water systems and LED lighting, these projects will reduce carbon emissions by 105 tonnes a year.

  • Review of design standards for new council development to ensure that requirements align to the climate emergency declaration and deliver net zero carbon objectives.

  • The New Town Hall is as energy efficient as possible and is heated by air source heat pumps.


  • Since 2019 the council purchases 100 per cent renewable electricity.

  • Completed initial feasibility for decarbonisation of Barkantine Heat and Power district heating network.

  • Commenced Solar PV analysis of Tower Hamlets buildings owned by the council to identify appropriate spaces to install renewable energy generating technologies.

  • Completed Bio-solar retrofit feasibility study of Tower Hamlets Homes properties to deliver renewable energy generating technologies (photovoltaics) and biodiverse roofs.

  • Continued delivery of carbon reduction projects
    • grants programme for schools to deliver carbon reduction measures saving 374 tonnes carbon
    • grants programme for SMEs for energy efficiency saving 383 tonnes carbon
    • residential heating efficiency project reduced carbon emissions by 70 tonnes.
  • 98 per cent of our street lighting upgraded to LED.

Transport and streets

  • Adoption of Tower Hamlets Transport Strategy which sets out our vision and priorities for travel in Tower Hamlets from 2020 – 2041 through sustainable means of transport.

  • We have planted over 1000 street trees and we have committed to planting another 1000 trees over the next five years. 

  • We have installed over 350 electrical vehicle charging points across the borough and we are installing 1,400 more by 2026.


  • The Pensions Committee have actively engaged with the climate change agenda and are looking at revising their investment strategy toward a greener portfolio. The Tower Hamlets pensions fund are on a journey towards decarbonisation of their investments.

For more information, download our Cleaner, Greener leaflet