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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October 16th, 2015

Cash on collection: selling separated recyclables

by Peter Jones and Joe Papineschi


Local authority budgets are slimmer than ever, making it imperative for councils that separately collect materials to achieve the best possible value from them. However, while councils are experienced purchasers of goods and services, selling isn’t something they have much call to do.

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May 29th, 2015

Pickles’ parting shot

by Joe Papineschi and Gwen Frost


We suspect that the departure of Eric Pickles from the role of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will not be widely mourned amongst council officials. His replacement, Greg Clark, had a previous stint as minister of state in the department between 2010 and 2012, and subsequently held the cities brief. While it may be too early to pronounce with confidence that a major change of approach is in the air, Clark is a strong advocate of decentralisation of power, and might reinvigorate the localism agenda that fell by the wayside as Pickles increasingly sought to bend councils to his will.

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July 26th, 2013

Less challenging than you’d expect


by Joe Papineschi


Covanta’s announcement that it is to challenge the Merseyside Waste and Resource Authority’s decision to award its £1.2bn waste disposal contract to SITA has rightly made headlines. Coming in the wake of Virgin Trains’ successful challenge to the West Coast Mainline franchise competition, it might lead you to think that public authorities routinely get into procurement disputes. Certainly, many of the local authorities I work with on waste procurement worry about litigation risk. But the reality is that the Covanta case is pretty exceptional, and procurement challenges in the waste sector remain rare.

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April 9th, 2013

Degrees of separation

Particularly contaminated post-MRF glass

by Joe Papineschi


There can have been few judgements in the administrative court more cut and dried than that given by Mr Justice Hickinbottom in Cardiff last month. In his decision regarding whether the revised Waste Framework Directive (rWFD) had been correctly transposed through the Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012, he saw little of merit in the case made by the claimants, a group of materials reprocessors. Finding in favour of Defra and the Welsh Government, he concluded:

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July 20th, 2012

Collectors hold the key

Tokyo Key

by Joe Papineschi


A few weeks ago I went to a great little event hosted by LG Legal at their HQ next to Boris’s City Hall that brought together leading players in the Anaerobic Digestion (AD) industry. I started writing about it in an initial fit of inspiration on the last train back to Bristol, while the debate (chaired by BBC Science Correspondent David Shukman), the good dinner, and several glasses of wine were still in my system.  Unfortunately after about a page of ranting I had typed myself to sleep, and only in the last couple of days has my screed come to light. Amazingly, I think I hit on a point that remains worth making – one which, if the leading players took it on board, would transform the economics of AD.

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November 22nd, 2011

Trial and error – what can we learn from Mid Devon?

Joe Papineschi Director

by Joe Papineschi


Eunomia was in the news again this week as the results of a trial of a new weekly recycling collection in Mid Devon District Council were announced. The three month study aimed to test Eunomia’s recommendations in a WRAP-funded study, that Mid Devon should pick up an increased range of materials weekly at the kerbside, and replace its free garden waste collection with a charged one. Disappointed with the results of the trial, the council has decided not to roll out this approach. So what went wrong?

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