September 30th, 2016

What’s VAT got to do with the price of bins?

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by Peter Jones

 

Should local authorities have to charge VAT on their commercial waste services? Not according to Mr Justice Warren of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber), who this month declined to overturn HMRC’s 2011 decision that such services were VAT exempt.

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September 9th, 2016

Can we sort out the contamination confusion?

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by Peter Jones and Andy Grant

 

The latest flurry of disparagement around the 2014/15 stats on local authority recycling rejects provides an unfortunate reminder that this is a confusing topic. Indeed, it seems it is easy to misunderstand even if, like the Daily Mail and Daily Express, you’ve had it explained to you at length.

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August 5th, 2016

Parking restrictions? Undervaluing green space in the UK

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by Ayesha Bapasola

 

It’s rare that a parish council decision causes an outcry that permeates the upper echelons of Westminster. However, Stoke Gifford Parish council in South Gloucestershire hit the headlines when it voted to charge Parkrun for the use of Little Stoke Park early this spring. The council has stuck to its guns, though, and continues to do so, even after securing £750,000 to upgrade facilities at the park and ‘increase sports participation for the local community’.

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May 6th, 2016

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

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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 1st, 2016

Myth-takes – “It all just ends up in landfill”

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by Luke Dale-Harris

 

If pub conversations and online comments are anything to go by, everybody seems to know someone whose friend works in waste. And inevitably, with unimpeachable authority, that friend of a friend has let slip the unspeakable ‘truth’: recycling is a waste of time – it all ends up in a landfill anyway.

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January 29th, 2016

Advisory note: packaging industry opposition to producer responsibility

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by Chris Sherrington

 

Earlier this week I skimmed through an old Guardian article about ‘corporate welfare’ – which reported analysis suggesting that taxpayers hand businesses £93bn a year (more than £3,500 per household) in the form of subsidies, direct grants and tax breaks. While I didn’t delve too deeply, the thrust of the argument put me in mind of another example of UK taxpayers shouldering a burden that should not be theirs – producer responsibility for packaging.

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October 23rd, 2015

Should we welcome the return of nappy recycling?

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by Hilary Vick

 

The news that nappy recycling specialist Knowaste is looking to open a new facility will receive rather a lukewarm welcome – at least from those of us engaged in trying to minimise the environmental impact of nappies by promoting reusables. Their plan, submitted on 14th September, is for a new absorbent hygiene product (AHP) recycling plant in West London, which would take in disposable nappies, adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products, using autoclave and shredding technology to recover plastics and fibres for recycling.

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