June 19th, 2015

Is the LGA right about EfW overcapacity?

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by Adam Baddeley and Peter Jones

 

Eunomia has been publicly warning for four years now that the UK’s “dash for trash” will leave us – like Sweden, the Netherlands and some of our other Northern European neighbours – with more residual waste infrastructure than we really need.

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May 29th, 2015

Pickles’ parting shot

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by Joe Papineschi and Gwen Frost

 

I suspect that the departure of Eric Pickles from the role of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will not be widely mourned amongst council officials. His replacement, Greg Clark, had a previous stint as minister of state in the department between 2010 and 2012, and subsequently held the cities brief. While it may be too early to pronounce with confidence that a major change of approach is in the air, Clark is a strong advocate of decentralisation of power, and might reinvigorate the localism agenda that fell by the wayside as Pickles increasingly sought to bend councils to his will.

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May 8th, 2015

Expressing irritation: more media complaints

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By Peter Jones

 

It seems that ill-founded negative stories about recycling have become something of a staple for certain sections of England’s press. However, when I read the rubbish written about resources, I have a hard time letting it go, which is turning me into a bit of a serial complainer – not a role I rejoice in, although I hope it’s a useful one. Having previously persuaded the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph to withdraw articles, the latest titles to incur my ire were the Sunday and Daily Express.

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April 10th, 2015

Transitioning to a circular economy

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by Ad Lansink

 

For a society accustomed to the achievements of a linear economy, the transition to a circular system is a hard task even to contemplate. Although the changes needed may seem daunting, it is important to remember that we have already come a long way. However, the history of the waste hierarchy has taught that political perseverance and unity of approach are essential to achieving long term visions in supply chain management.

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March 3rd, 2015

UK marine litter measures: a list as long as your arm?

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by Chiarina Darrah

 

It’s taken several years of sustained campaigning to bring marine litter onto the agenda, backed up by strategic work at the global and regional level by organisations like the UN, Regional Seas Programmes, the European Commission, national governments, and many others.

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February 20th, 2015

Pickles, politics and power

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by Peter Jones

 

“If you want to get anywhere in politics, you’ve got to be good at pushing on open doors. If you can’t resist pushing on closed ones, then you ought to have chosen another job.” That rather bleak assessment of the extent of ministerial power comes from C.P. Snow’s novel Corridors of Power, in which the lead characters try (and fail) to tip the balance against 1950s Britain seeking an independent nuclear deterrent.

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January 16th, 2015

Mutual benefit: austerity, waste partnerships and Teckal

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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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