March 17th, 2017

Current electrics: WEEE and the circular economy

by Mary Biron-Tolentino

 

The UK is one of the world’s biggest spenders on consumer electronics. According to WRAP, British households and businesses buy around 1.4 million tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment each year.  In financial terms, average spending is around £800 per household, and this continues to grow, despite economic uncertainties and slow wage growth. Looking just at consumer electronics, the market is reported to have growing by almost 10% per annum from 2010-2014, and was estimated to be around £4.4 billion in 2016.

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January 20th, 2017

Should we be making a meal out of food waste?

by Jake Brown

 

We can all agree on one thing, that food waste is not good for the environment. But can it be ‘utilised’ to bring about social benefits to local communities?

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January 6th, 2017

What’s behind the rise in three-weekly rubbish collections?

by Peter Jones

 

Three-weekly residual waste collections are on the rise, but remain highly controversial. Their introduction has been heralded by stories of over-spilling bins, growing populations of rats, and people buying “top-up” collections from opportunist private bin companies – in fact, all of the same ill-founded fears that were raised about fortnightly collections.

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December 16th, 2016

Guidance counselling: understanding fire prevention plans

by Sophie Crosswell

 

Since the introduction of the Environment Agency’s (EA) Fire Prevention Plan (FPP) Guidance, waste operators have been battling with the national approval panel to achieve the compliant plans needed for their new facilities.  Whilst July’s revised guidance went some way to clarifying the EA’s expectations and flexibility, gaining approval for a FPP still seems to be a hurdle many are having difficulty with.

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December 2nd, 2016

The ups and downs of landfill data

by Dominic Hogg

 

There’s a hackneyed phrase that people often come out with when they are looking for improved data: ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’. Waste management strikes me as the perfect counter example: for anything other than waste collected by local authorities, the quality of the UK’s waste data is generally of terrible quality. Does that really mean we don’t know a thing about how waste should be managed?

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November 4th, 2016

What’s worse than landfill?

by Mike Brown

 

For the best part of twenty years, the message for waste managers has been clear. Landfill is bad. Do everything you can to get waste out of landfill. Over that time, it has been a pretty decent rule of thumb, if one that has its limits. However, I suspect that policy makers may soon have to face up to something that those involved at the sharp end of waste operations may already understand. Certainly, landfill is bad – but no access to landfill might, for a while at least, be even worse.

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October 28th, 2016

Are councils driving waste on the road to nowhere?

by Neil Grundon

 

In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher took a scythe to a bloated and unproductive public sector with the introduction of ‘Compulsory Competitive Tendering’ (CCT). Like most things Thatcher did, it was divisive but effective, and eventually undone by its dogmatic application to everything. For Grundon, it opened up a huge opportunity, although not quite in the way we originally planned.

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