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.

Read more on Are councils driving waste on the road to nowhere?…


October 14th, 2016

Rejected hypotheses: analysing England’s recycling data

by Peter Jones and Andy Grant

 

Is the increase in recycling rejects in England due to an increase in the amount of contamination in recycling bins, caused by growing confusion amongst the public? Last month we identified a couple of other possibilities that would also explain the 184,000 tonne rise: better data capture, or better sorting at materials recycling facilities (MRFs). However, we didn’t attempt to assess which is the most plausible. In this article, we begin that tricky task.

Read more on Rejected hypotheses: analysing England’s recycling data…


September 30th, 2016

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

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.

Read more on What’s VAT got to do with the price of bins?…


September 9th, 2016

Can we sort out the contamination confusion?

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.

Read more on Can we sort out the contamination confusion?…


August 5th, 2016

Parking restrictions? Undervaluing green space in the UK

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’.

Read more on Parking restrictions? Undervaluing green space in the UK…


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:

Read more on Myth-takes – “You can sort it all with machines”…


April 1st, 2016

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

7478070840_07af2727d7_z

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.

Read more on Myth-takes – “It all just ends up in landfill”…