September 26th, 2014

Landfill gas: taxable commodity or a potent pollutant?

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by Chris Eden

 

Spanish renewable energy policy has always been a broad brush affair, with a wide range of different technologies lumped into the same basket. Indeed, one area where Spain has been quite successful is a form of energy that some might not even call renewable: biogas, specifically landfill biogas. This gas is essentially a by-product of the process of degradation of organic material, such as food garden or animal waste, which both EU law and environmental ideals would keep well away from landfill.

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September 19th, 2014

Blowin’ in the wind: the role of wind in UK energy policy

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by Chloe Bines

 

This summer has seen record generation from wind energy, with the UK’s wind turbines delivering more energy than our declining coal plants on several days and even managing to outstrip nuclear on 29th August.

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September 12th, 2014

Real nappies: absorbing the lessons of incentive schemes

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by Hilary Vick

 

For the past 11 years I have been trying to get more London parents to try reusable nappies. This may be one of the biggest behavioural change challenges there is. Disposables nappies are cheap, convenient and easy to dispose of. You can throw a nappy in a park bin, pop it in the nappy bin at the swimming pool, leave a day’s worth at your baby’s nursery. Reusables are more difficult, right? You have to carry stinky ones home with you and then you have to wash and dry them. So how do you persuade people to use the more difficult, unfamiliar option?

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September 5th, 2014

Rethinking recycling as reuse

Collection of plastic SML

by Ad Lansink

 

Eurostat recently published 2012 figures on the treatment of municipal waste across the EU28. Although there is variability in the quality of the underlying data and in the approach to compiling and reporting the figures, the headline numbers still make for interesting reading. The published data shows that the share of municipal waste recycled or composted has risen significantly – from 18% in 1995 to 42% in 2012. Breaking that figure down, however, one can see that only 27% was recycled and 15% composted, while 34% was landfilled and 24% incinerated.

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September 4th, 2014

Circles, hierarchies, mattresses and orphans

The Typing Pool

by the Administrator

 

August is the traditional month for crayfish parties in Sweden – the harvesting of crayfish used to be legal there only in the late summer. However, kräftskiva parties have become popular across the nordic countries and Finland, though the extent to which this can be attributed to the deliciousness of crayfish or widespread enthusiasm for the copious drinking that accompanies the event is open to debate.

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August 29th, 2014

Wasted words: TEEP reviews need to be done properly

Cold Crosh bins

by Peter Jones

 

Can there still be anyone involved in managing local authority waste collection services that hasn’t heard the phrase TEEP? The requirement to collect four recyclable materials separately, where doing so is necessary and technically, economically and environmentally practicable, is one of the rare examples of a waste story that has crossed over into the mainstream press, albeit in the garbled form of stories about Europe requiring us all to have extra bins.

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August 22nd, 2014

A mattress of opinion: how do you make the best of bulky waste?

Photo by Angie from Sawara, via Wikimedia Commons.

by Alex Murray

 

When you’re buying a new bed or mattress, it’s easy to forget about the hidden expense and hassle of parting company with your old one. So how do the reuse and recycling options for an old bed or mattress shape up? Is there something you can do that is easy, economical and environmentally friendly?

Read more on A mattress of opinion: how do you make the best of bulky waste?…