Boris Johnson pushes cycling -- and recycling
LONDON (Reuters) - Cycling and recycling are the twin hearts of the environmental manifesto put forward on Thursday by Conservative Boris Johnson in his bid to oust London Mayor Ken Livingstone in elections on May 1.
Replying to Livingstone's own environment manifesto published on Tuesday, Johnson also said he would spend six million pounds to improve green spaces, oppose further expansion of Heathrow airport and give incentives for home insulation.
"I will take action to make London the greenest city in the world," he said.
"Areas that have pleasant, clean, open spaces are less likely to suffer from crime. It is time we had a new approach in London. That is why we need the improvement of our open spaces as a top priority on the environmental agenda."
But the key to his plans are an innovative recycling scheme based on an American model to pay people to recycle their domestic waste and cut the quantity sent for landfill.
Johnson said the RecycleBank scheme now operating in more than 200 towns and cities in the United States had tripled household waste recycling in the past three years.
"Increasing recycling may appear to be a small gesture but will actually improve the lives of thousands of Londoners. I want to work with London boroughs to make that a reality," he said.
Johnson, a keen cyclist, also said he wanted to make the streets of the city genuinely bicycle-friendly.
He said he would adhere to Labour Mayor Livingstone's plan to cut London's emissions of climate-changing carbon gases by 60 percent by 2025 -- twice as fast as the government's plan to hit the same target by 2050.
But Johnson has previously said he would reject one of the core parts of Livingstone's climate policy to tax gas-guzzling cars 25 pounds a day to enter the city centre.
(Editing by Steve Addison)
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