January 23rd, 2015

Clean streets, dirty conscience?

Grubbers

by Ian Doyle

 

Ask residents what’s important to them in their local environment and clean streets will always be one of the first things they mention. Litter, in all its unpleasant forms, has the power to dramatically affect perceptions of environmental quality and reduce residents’ pride of place, and there is evidence that it has detrimental effects in terms of property values, mental health, and crime. Therefore, it’s not surprising that clean streets are given high value.

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January 20th, 2015

The outsource of it all

Manchester City Hall

by Phillip Ward

 

I once talked a Government Minister out of legislating for charging for domestic refuse disposal. It was 26 years ago and, in my defence, I knew nothing of waste policy, nor was recycling of much interest to most people at that time. My objections were not therefore based on waste considerations but on the fact that the Minister concerned wanted to add the provisions to the Parliamentary Bill I was managing. Since that was dealing with the introduction of the Poll Tax, my advice was that the Bill was controversial enough without opening up a whole new front. I do sometimes wonder whether, with the advantage of hindsight, I should have simply said “Yes, Minister”.

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January 16th, 2015

Mutual benefit: austerity, waste partnerships and Teckal

Marriage de la vierge

by Wayne Lewis

 

The age of public sector austerity ushered in by the 2008 financial crisis has fallen with particular severity on local government. The Local Government Association (LGA) has calculated that the latest Local Government Finance Settlement announced on 18th December 2014 represents an 8.8% cut to local government budgets from April 2015. This brings to 40% the total reduction in core government funding since 2010 – then typically around two thirds of a council’s budget. Yet the deficit remains obstinately large and whatever the complexion of central government after May’s general election it’s likely that we’ll see councils’ spending power continue to shrink.

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January 9th, 2015

Setting great store by renewable electricity

DinorwigPowerStation01

by Chloe Bines and Adam Baddeley

 

Under the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the UK is legally committed to delivering 15% of its energy demand from renewable energy sources by 2020. Achieving this ambitious target will require a substantial decarbonisation of the energy system and the UK Renewable Energy Roadmap published by DECC set a target for 13GW of installed onshore wind turbines by 2020, 18GW of offshore wind and as much as 20GW of solar PV.

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January 8th, 2015

Three gifts and a package

The Typing Pool

by the Administrator

 

By this stage of January, you’ve probably been wished a happy and prosperous New Year countless times, making somewhat belated good wishes from the team at Isonomia a little surplus to requirements. However, if any of our readers feels in need of a quick top up of good fortune for 2015, an urgent trip to Japan might be in order.

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January 2nd, 2015

Down in the dumps with Delingpole

Landfill habitat sml

by Peter Jones

 

For a couple of years now it has been clear that the Daily Mail, despite being printed on largely recycled newsprint, is no fan of recycling. As regular Isonomia readers will know, on occasion I’ve been able to force it to withdraw some of its more egregious claims.

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December 29th, 2014

Demanding proper treatment: waste protests in India

Mavillipura Tip

by Ranjith Annepu

 

In a historical first for the nation, 2012 saw several public protests against improper solid waste management erupt across India – from the northernmost state Jammu and Kashmir to the southernmost Tamil Nadu. Fighting for the right to a clean environment and environmental justice, protesters staged large-scale demonstrations, including an indefinite hunger strike and road blocks outside local waste handling facilities.

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