December 5th, 2014

Is waste a source of renewable energy?

Edmonton,_LondonWaste_Eco_Park_chimney_-_adapted

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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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 31st, 2014

Is separate food waste collection expensive?

Caddy stack

by Peter Jones

 

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s report on Waste management in England has been big news in waste this month, and by virtue of being a bit of a mixed bag most commentators have been able to find in it something to praise. The Committee had the unenviable job of trying to sift conflicting evidence from numerous interested parties, and perhaps it was inevitable that some of their recommendations would be in tension.

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October 17th, 2014

Is the waste PFI credit crunch justified?

Residual Graph

by Dominic Hogg

 

I’ve just made it back to the office following a thoroughly enjoyable LARAC conference. As well as staying up way too late on Wednesday night after a scrumptious dinner, I sat on a panel earlier in the same day which was asked a question regarding whether the withdrawal of PFI credits from various local authority waste projects was justified.

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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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March 26th, 2014

Defra’s ex WRATE-ed guide

SELCHP_incinerator_-_power_plant,_Rotherhithe_-_geograph.org.uk_-_333740

by Ann Ballinger

 

Incineration might be worse than landfill. Although not an unfamiliar conclusion for us at Eunomia – we suggested as much in a report written for Friends of the Earth eight years ago – it’s rather more surprising to hear Defra echoing it in a recent publication. Hitherto the department seems to have regarded the environmental benefits as incontrovertible.

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March 19th, 2014

Incineration: let’s get fiscal

619px-Smokestacks_3958

by Dominic Hogg

 

If you are serious about encouraging waste prevention, eco-design, re-use, remanufacture and high recycling rates, then it helps if you stop people throwing stuff away for peanuts. A high price on residual waste management is not a panacea; and it isn’t impossible to achieve good results in its absence. However, the decline in recycling rates in Germany as incinerator gate fees have bombed is testament to the fact that, whatever other regulations you have in place, at some point the economic imperative begins to bite: make chucking stuff away cheap, and it will kill off better alternatives.

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