August 19th, 2016

Full BREEAM ahead: raising the BAR on low carbon building

Land Rover BAR base 2

by Quentin Scott


It’s a sad fact that there has been more bad news than good on sustainable building in the UK in recent times. After the scrapping of the Green Deal without replacement, the unexpected reversal of the Zero Carbon Homes policy and the defeat of efforts to reintroduce building standards through the Housing and Planning Act this year, there’s been little to cheer for those interested in improving the carbon efficiency of our built environment.

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May 6th, 2016

Myth-takes – “You can sort it all with machines”


by Luke Dale-Harris and Peter Jones


Not long ago, The Spectator gave over a page to decry the plight of poor Mrs Ware, the “frail, elderly mother” of the article’s author, Michael. Mrs Ware, he wrote:

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April 29th, 2016

Going down the tubes: can automated waste collection work?


by Hulda Espolin Norstein


What’s the most common and convenient way to receive your utilities? When it comes to gas, electricity, water, sewerage, internet connections and even television, the answer is obvious – underground pipes and cables. That’s led some to wonder why our waste is still stored and transported over ground. Surely someone could come up with a system in which waste is managed out of sight, doing away with all those polluting trucks and the problems of missing your collection.

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September 25th, 2015

Getting in on the ACT: subsidies and the EfW market


by Chris Cullen


The market for residual waste treatment is about to experience some significant changes. As we move closer to the point where Eunomia’s Residual Waste Infrastructure Review forecasts suggest that the amount of treatment capacity will equal the amount of residual waste available, the key price benchmark for facilities will no longer be the cost of landfill. Instead, it will be the gate fee offered by operators of other residual waste treatment plant – many of them energy from waste (EfW) facilities. A key question for any developer, then, is what will allow a facility to be competitive over its lifespan of 25 years or more.

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July 10th, 2015

Landfilling the void in developing nations


by Nicole Kennard


For many in the western world, landfills carry negative connotations: pungent blots on the landscape, associated with greenhouse gas emissions and risks to groundwater from leachate. The efforts that developed countries are making to reduce our reliance on landfill can give rise to a kneejerk reaction when we think about waste management in developing nations. Shouldn’t we be advocating that they move straight into recycling, composting, biogas and energy from waste, without passing through the landfill phase we’re struggling to end?

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June 19th, 2015

Is the LGA right about EfW overcapacity?


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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March 20th, 2015

Talking GIB-berish


by Dominic Hogg


We’ve now had more than two years of the Green Investment Bank (GIB), enough time to take a view on how green its intervention in the waste sector has been. It won’t be a surprise to hear that the answer is “not very”, but much more interesting to ask why.

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