April 20th, 2018

Spending review: what waste management costs councils

by Peter Jones

 

Last month the National Audit Office (NAO) published an assessment of the financial sustainability of English local authorities. Some of the findings were pretty stark, with the NAO reporting that “spending on services has fallen by 19.2% in real terms” since 2010/11, with expenditure on areas other than social care falling by 32.6%. The NAO further stated that:

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February 16th, 2018

Institutional failure? Environmental health and monthly bin collections

by Peter Jones

 

Last week, the Daily Express ran a story warning of the dire consequences of the planned introduction of monthly residual waste collections in Conwy, North Wales. Reducing collection frequencies would lead to a variety of ills such as swarms of rats and flies, unpleasant odours and a surge in fly-tipping, the paper claimed.

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February 2nd, 2018

Street smart: how can councils better tackle litter?

by Neil Greenhalgh

 

Walk down any street in Britain and you are likely to find litter: from crisp packets and drinks cans to fag-ends and chewing gum. I am still astonished by the audacity of people who clearly think unwanted confectionery and fast food packaging belong in a gutter or on a pavement. Allowing one’s dog to foul public spaces is another enviro-crime that too many people evidently find acceptable.

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January 26th, 2018

Fly-tipping in the face of the evidence

by Peter Jones

 

The number of fly-tipping incidents recorded by councils in England has gone up every year since 2012/13.  In 2016/17, the total number of fly-tips exceeded a million for the first time since 2008/09. Around two-thirds of incidents are classed as involving household waste; the number of such cases has increased by around 41% since 2012/13 so it’s natural to ask what changes might underlie this dramatic rise.

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December 1st, 2017

Myth takes: the bin police

by Peter Jones

 

Are local authorities unjustifiably snooping on householders’ bins? Are they carrying out CCTV surveillance of people’s compliance with local bin rules? And are they looking to impose fines of thousands of pounds on people who break them?

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September 22nd, 2017

Schedule 2 waste: are local authorities missing out?

by Joss Winter

 

This month, North Kesteven District Council in Lincolnshire is implementing new charges for what is still often referred to as “Schedule 2” waste. That’s the name given to waste from properties such as schools and care homes, which is classified as “household waste”, but which councils are allowed to charge for collecting. With many councils looking for every opportunity to raise revenues to fill the gap left by declining central government support, will other’s  be following suit?

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June 30th, 2017

Is recycling confusing?

by Peter Jones and Joe Papineschi

 

There’s one thing everyone seems to agree on regarding recycling: it’s confusing. It’s a familiar complaint from countless press articles and broadcast pieces; when surveyed, people say they find recycling confusing; and Defra has taken up the theme. Part of the rationale for WRAP’s consistency programme is to ‘help address confusion’ by encouraging greater uniformity in councils’ recycling services.

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