October 17th, 2014

Is the waste PFI credit crunch justified?

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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 26th, 2014

Landfill gas: taxable commodity or a potent pollutant?

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by Chris Eden

 

Spanish renewable energy policy has always been a broad brush affair, with a wide range of different technologies lumped into the same basket. Indeed, one area where Spain has been quite successful is a form of energy that some might not even call renewable: biogas, specifically landfill biogas. This gas is essentially a by-product of the process of degradation of organic material, such as food garden or animal waste, which both EU law and environmental ideals would keep well away from landfill.

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August 8th, 2014

Dryness in Gaza: the Palestinian water crisis

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by Amir Dakkak

 

For almost a month the Gaza Strip has been subject to regular Israeli bombardment that has made headlines around the world. While concerns have focused on the direct impact on the civilian population and the lack of medical supplies available to deal with the rising number of casualties, less attention is being given to a problem that could in the end prove more deadly.

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August 1st, 2014

Storing up trouble: is export the cause of ‘orphaned’ waste?

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by Mike Brown

 

To call the increase in the amount of UK waste being exported to mainland Europe as refuse derived fuel (RDF) over the past few years ‘dramatic’ would be an understatement. Growth from around 270,000 tonnes in 2011 to over 1,500,000 tonnes in 2013 has now been surpassed with current tonnages of 800,000 in the first quarter of 2014. With landfill around £100/t, exporting residual waste to take advantage of low gate fees at underused European incinerators is an enticing prospect. Recently, this prospect has become relevant not only to waste companies managing C&I waste but also to those handling municipal waste. And with European facilities usually considerably more efficient than those in the UK – harnessing heat in addition to generating electricity – there can even be a strong environmental case for export.

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March 14th, 2014

Is bad data blocking waste infrastructure investment?

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by Adam Baddeley and Chris Cullen

 

We’ve been reading SITA’s recent report on waste arisings and infrastructure, which found that by 2025 the UK would have 5.7m tonnes more waste than treatment capacity. It’s a conclusion that we have issues with: we’re authors of Eunomia’s Residual Waste Infrastructure Review, which has consistently shown that the capacity of the incinerators, MBT plants and other residual treatment plant that we expect to be built in coming years risks exceeding the tonnage of waste which will need to be managed in future. But whilst it’s worth pausing to point out where we think SITA has erred, the report raises a more interesting issue: what is really holding up the infrastructure investment that SITA and others think is so urgently needed?

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February 24th, 2014

Is waste planning a waste of time?

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by Deborah Sacks

 

I once attended a branch meeting of the Royal Town Planning Institute where the members were all feeling pretty low. The very concept of planning was under attack from the coalition government. Any reason for control of land use was being questioned at a fundamental level.

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November 22nd, 2013

Water woes in Jordan

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by Amir Dakkak

 

Being one of the most arid countries in the Middle East, Jordan is facing severe water shortages. The current per capita water supply in the country is 200 cubic meters per year which is almost one-third of the global average. To make matters worse, it is projected that Jordan’s population (currently at 6 million) will reach 9 million by 2025 causing a drastic decline in per capita water availability to measly 91 cubic meters.

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