December 19th, 2014

Waste in a manger: a materials nativity


by Steve Watson


No nativity scene or play is complete without the presence of the Magi bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the new born messiah. Despite their ubiquity in our picture of Christmas, little is told of them in the Bible except that they travelled from the East following a star, and they are traditionally thought of as wise men or kings.

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December 16th, 2014

Taking care of business? The Circular Economy package and “better regulation”

Junckers in Poznan

by Dominic Hogg


As readers may be aware, Jean Claude Juncker, the new President of the European Commission, has wasted no time in positioning himself as a new broom. His request that incoming Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, take a fresh look at both the Commission’s circular economy (CE) and clean air (CA) packages seems likely to result in one or both of these important legislative proposals being swept aside in order to usher in a new focus on jobs and growth.

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December 12th, 2014

Buyer beware: using procurement to root out waste crime

Scottish Note Crop SML

by Peter Jones


Waste crime has perhaps been the big resources sector issue to come to the forefront in 2014. It’s certainly the only aspect of waste that received a particular mention in the Chancellor’s budget – not even Landfill Tax managed that – and has also been given prominence by Radio 4’s File on 4 series. That’s all good profile, and the £5m that George Osborne found to tackle this criminality is no doubt being put to good use by the Environment Agency.

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December 5th, 2014

Is waste a source of renewable energy?


by Mike Brown


Whenever you look at material produced by the developers and users of energy from waste (EfW) incinerators, you soon come across the phrase “renewable energy”. Vince Cable used the term to describe a new incinerator in Lincolnshire just last week. On the websites of companies such as ViridorSITA, of councils from Glasgow to London, or of the Green Investment Bank, which has stepped in to fund several EfW projects – incineration is consistently referred to in the terms generally reserved for forms of energy such as wind, wave and geothermal.

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December 2nd, 2014

Keeping blog and soul together

The Typing Pool

by the Administrator


Legend has it that a pilgrim was once sailing home from the Holy Land when his boat became caught in a storm. Forced to take refuge on a strange and rocky isle, he met a hermit there who spoke of an opening among the cliffs leading straight to purgatory, from which agonised moans of the tormented dead rose. The hermit told how he had also overheard demons in the pit complaining about the power of prayer to rescue their victims. Upon his return, the pilgrim told this tale to the Abbot of Cluny, who decreed that the very next day, November 2nd, should be set aside as a day of prayer for the dead.

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November 28th, 2014

Ask Ad: zero waste and the hierarchy


by Ad Lansink and Steve Watson


Earlier in the month, we brought you the first part of an interview with the creator of the waste hierarchy, Ad Lansink. The interview is based on questions provided by readers of be Waste Wise, our collaborators on this article.

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November 21st, 2014

Asbestos: the enemy of the good?


by Salman Zafar


Each year countries from the Middle East and North Africa import large amount of asbestos for use in the construction industry. As per the last known statistics, the Middle East and Africa accounted for 20% of world demand for the material. Iran and the United Arab Emirates are among the biggest consumers. Iran alone has been reported to order 30,000 tons of asbestos each year. More than 17,000 tonnes of asbestos was imported and consumed in the United Arab Emirates in 2007. In fact, despite its well-known dangers, almost all Middle East countries have been steadily increasing their asbestos imports.

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