December 19th, 2014

Waste in a manger: a materials nativity

624px-Magi

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 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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November 28th, 2014

Ask Ad: zero waste and the hierarchy

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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?

Asbestos-warning

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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November 14th, 2014

Ask Ad: climbing Lansink’s Ladder

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by Ad Lansink and Steve Watson

 

It was a little under a year ago that Isonomia ran an article on the life and work of Dutch former politician and father of the waste hierarchy, Ad Lansink. It turned out to be one of our most read pieces, and happily also came to Ad’s attention. Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to have the chance to bring his thoughts to an English speaking audience, working with him to produce four articles based on chapters of his book De Kracht van de Kringloop.

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November 12th, 2014

Delta winning hand: waste management progress in Nigeria

Waste wall

by Benneth Obinna Obasiohia

 

Waste management is a serious problem in Nigeria. It is a problem that starts at a cultural level: many of the populace believe that once they remove waste from their homes it is no longer their concern, and you often see people disposing of their household waste in the streets at night. Once the waste gets out into the streets, it’s perceived as the duty of the government to handle it.

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October 24th, 2014

Pole position: the state of waste management in Poland

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by Bernadeta Gottel

 

According to a Copenhagen Resource Institute (CRI) study Municipal Waste Management in Poland (2013), the combined Polish recycling rate for dry recyclables and organic waste has increased from 5% in 2004 to 21% in 2010. Another source provides similar, corroborating statistics, putting the dry recycling rate in Poland at 14% and the composting rate at 7%. The latest Eurostat data (for 2011) shows that the upward trend continuing, with the total recycled and composted reaching 28%. That is rapid rate of improvement, but leaves Poland well below the latest EU-27 average of 40% (25% recycled and 15% composted) – so what prospect is there of Poland reaching the EU’s mandatory 50% target by 2020?

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