October 22nd, 2018

Target practice: should recycling targets be weight or carbon-based?

by Peter Jones

 

As the prospect of higher weight-based recycling targets emanating from Europe has moved from a distant possibility to an imminent reality, interest in alternatives to such targets seems to have grown.

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October 5th, 2018

Sound effects: the problem of sonic litter

by Steve Watson

 

How is a drum and bass banger like a polystyrene takeaway container? Maybe you’re thinking that they’re both most likely encountered at 2am on a Friday night down the town centre. But I’m more concerned about their presence down residential streets during waking hours. In fact, I’m thinking both should be considered forms of environmental pollution.

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June 8th, 2018

Great expectations? Predicted and real results of three-weekly collections

 by Maxine von Eye and Tanguy Tomes

 

When controversial three-weekly bin collections first appeared on the scene, it posed an interesting problem for waste managers. How do you predict the effect that a reduction in collection frequency will have when there’s no pool of past experience into which you can dip?

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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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