Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): LWRA

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1986-1996

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 5 linear metres

Name of creator(s): LWRA | London Waste Regulation Authority x London Waste Regulation Authority


Administrative/Biographical history:

The London Waste Regulation Authority was brought into existence under section 10 of the Local Government Act 1985 and became a functional organisation on 1 April 1986. It had an independent regulatory role over both the public and private sectors of waste management. Its purpose was to protect public health, prevent pollution of water and improve the environment by ensuring that wastes were properly handled from the producer through all transport modes up to final disposal.

It was composed of 33 members, one elected member being nominated by each of the 32 London borough councils and the City of London. It was financed by a levy, apportioned on a population basis, on each of the authorities. It met three times a year.

An Executive Committee was responsible for major policy matters, meeting 8 times a year and it had two sub-committees, one concerned (inter alia) with considering applications for new site licences or modifications to existing site licences and the other responsible for senior staff appointments. An Urgency committee could be convened at short notice if there were vital matters requiring attention.

It was responsible for the regulation of almost all waste arising in Greater London, operating under control of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 it issued and enforced licences for waste disposal sites handling 'controlled' waste, the removal of waste deposited in breach of licensing conditions and enforcing the Control of Pollution Regulation 1980 in respect of 'Special' Waste. (Controlled waste is household, industrial and commercial waste while special waste is defined as any waste which is either a prescription only medicinal product or contains one or more scheduled substances whereby it is dangerous to life or highly inflammable.)

The LWRA regulated controlled waste by:
- issuing site licenses, with such conditions as it considered appropriate. There were issued to operators or potential operators of waste disposal facilities in Greater London, after mandatory consultations with the Borough Councils, the National Rivers Authority and Waste Disposal Authorities concerned and discretionary consultations with other bodies such as the HSE and the LFB.
- Modifying, refusing or revoking site licenses.
- Monitoring each licensed site to ensure that the operator was complying with the conditions of the licence and that the activities to which the licence related did not cause pollution of water or danger to public health or become seriously detrimental to the amenities of the locality affected by these activities, taking such action to rectify unsatisfactory practices as it considered necessary, which in the last resort could mean the revocation of a licence.
- Maintaining a register of all licences in force.
- Prosecuting those operators not in possession of a licence or operating in breach of licence conditions.
- Prosecuting persons depositing waste on unlicensed sites and ensuring proper removal to a licensed site, as speedily as possible of such waste.

The LWRA also regulated 'special waste' by administering a system of multi-page consignment notes which were issued to accompany all movements of these materials, to ensure their safe handling and correct disposal. Every movement of special waste was monitored and recorded and any producer, carrier or disposer who failed to comply was liable for prosecution.

The Authority also carried out a programme of regular monitoring of special waste producers to ensure that the, storage, handling and administration systems for dealing with this special waste were maintained to a high standard. Advice regarding disposal of special and hazardous substances was given by the Authority to commercial and industrial waste producers. For householders, registered charities and borough councils, the Authority operated a small scale collection service for hazardous waste.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London Waste Regulatory Authority, 1986-1996, including the minutes and presented papers of the Executive Committee 1986-1996, Site Licensing Committee/Licensing and Registration Sub-Committee 1987-1996, Urgency Committee 1986-1996, and Senior Officers' Appointments Sub-Committee 1986-1996, as well as minutes and presented papers of the working parties and Forums created by the LWRA, including Members Working Group on Major Issues, Enforcement and Fly-Tipping Working Party, East and South East London Fly-Tipping Liaison Group, Waste Recycling in London Members Liaison Group and London Forum on Recycling (LWRA/A and LWRA/C).

There are a large and complete series of the WRA reports (LWRA/B) produced by the LWRA which are supported by a detailed index. The index is arranged both chronologically and as an alphabetical sequence, giving the report (WRA) number and the committee that considered the report, along with the date the committee sat, so they can be used in conjunction with the committee minutes for the relevant meeting.

It should be noted that the committee reports have been divided into two sequences. At some point the reports presented to the Executive Committee were extracted into a separate series. Both series run in chronological order and are numbered. The detailed index provides and entry into the reports. However it is worth checking both series for a particular report.

The Clerks Department files (LWRA/D) were a separate filing system maintained by the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority on behalf of the LWRA. The original filing system has been retained although many of these files contained copies of the reports found in LWRA/B/02, so duplicate copies have not been retained. A small sample of files has been retained as examples.

The Information Centre's records (LWRA/E) includes material that had been stored at Kingsmeadow House in Reading, now the South East Regional Offices of the Environmental Agency. This includes publications about waste including 'Today's Waste, Tomorrow's Resources': The Waste Management Plan for Greater London 1995 - 2015, a series of transcripts of the annual conference held by LWRA as well as staff handbooks and Health and Safety guidelines.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

LWRA/A: Committee and Functions;
LWRA/B: Committee Reports;
LWRA/C: Working Parties and Forums;
LWRA/D: Clerk's Department;
LWRA/E: Information Centre.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright is held by the City of London.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 2002 and 2011.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: April to June 2009, updated in April 2013.

Licensing | Law
Recycling | Waste management | Environmental management
Refuse collection | Waste treatment | Waste disposal | Sanitation | Environmental engineering
Regulation | Business practice and regulation | Business management | Management

Personal names

Corporate names
London Recycling Forum
LWRA | London Waste Regulation Authority x London Waste Regulation Authority

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe