January 19th, 2018

Marking time: England’s 2016-17 recycling statistics

by Peter Jones, Emma Fletcher and Jade Kelly

 

Last month’s release of the latest local authority recycling statistics for England was an event that stirred little excitement. A small uptick in the household recycling rate was enough to equal the previous high water mark of 43.7%, but represented a sixth successive year of plateauing performance – hardly deserving of high marks when other parts of the UK are advancing so much faster.

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December 18th, 2017

Are some countries cheating on their recycling rate?

Global Recycling Map

by Rob Gillies and Peter Jones

 

Eunomia recently published the second issue of ‘Recycling – Who Really Leads the World?’, a study that tries to compare on an equal footing the countries that claim the highest recycling rates in the world. It explains why comparing reported recycling rates at face-value is potentially misleading; and by producing more comparable figures, shines a light on those countries that are setting a positive example for others to follow.

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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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August 4th, 2017

Myth takes: renewables consume more energy than they produce

by Peter Jones

 

I had a kitchen contractor over to quote for some work in my house. As he ran a company that specialised in using reclaimed wood, the conversation turned to green issues – and let’s just say he wasn’t averse to sharing his opinions. “Those wind turbines,” he grumbled, “they’re an eyesore and they’re not even carbon neutral.”

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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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June 23rd, 2017

Will Brexit bust the RDF export market?

by Ian Cessford, Bethany Ledingham and Peter Jones

 

Deprived of a majority by the general election earlier this month, the UK Government faces some difficult arithmetic when it eventually tries to secure Parliamentary approval for any deal on the country’s future relationship with the EU. Even if the Prime Minister can find a deal that is supported by both the ‘europhile’ and the ‘eurosceptic’ wings of the Conservative Party, it will also need the backing of the DUP – or other opposition MPs – if it is to command a majority. It is not in a position to force through whatever deal it reaches.

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June 2nd, 2017

Myth takes: it’s greener to incinerate paper than recycle it

by Peter Jones

 

When people want to argue that this whole recycling lark has gone a bit too far, they often regurgitate a peculiar factoid: that, on a careful analysis of the pros and cons, incinerating waste paper and card to generate energy has greater environmental benefits than recycling it.

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