March 11th, 2016

Rejected out of hand? Media stories on contamination and rats

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by Peter Jones

 

Media coverage of recycling hasn’t got off to a great start in 2016. After a short hiatus following my tussle with Richard Littlejohn last year, my complaints activity has unfortunately had to kick into overdrive. For the time being I’ll focus on four stories with which I’ve been able to make some headway so far this year – three papers’ coverage of recycling contamination, and one daft story about rats.

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January 8th, 2016

Much wrong with Littlejohn

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by Peter Jones

 

The latest Daily Mail journalist to take a pop at the issue of how waste is managed in the UK was the unlikely figure of Richard Littlejohn – the vituperative columnist described by John Crace as “the stupid person’s Jeremy Clarkson”. His article is a blunderbuss assault on local authorities, whose bin collections he says have become “a perversion of public service where dustmen are the masters and we are the servants“. So zealous were his comments that the piece immediately spawned a rather brilliant Daily Mash parody.

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December 30th, 2015

The international Tidyman of mystery

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by Peter Jones

 

Everyone knows the Tidyman – he’s one of the most printed images in history, having appeared on all kinds of packaging all around the world for over half a century.

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November 20th, 2015

Separate biowaste collections: a TEEP learning curve?

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by Peter Jones

 

Details are starting to emerge of the forthcoming European Commission Circular Economy package proposal, now expected early in the New Year. If the leaks are accurate, and the package is translated into a directive in something like its current form, there will be a great deal of thinking to do – first for officials at Defra, and then for anyone involved in collecting waste that contains biowaste.

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October 16th, 2015

Cash on collection: selling separated recyclables

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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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October 2nd, 2015

On tape: regulation in the waste sector

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by Peter Jones

 

Last month, the Cabinet Office concluded its call for comments to help it “identify unnecessary barriers to growth and productivity in the waste sector”. I responded, as did many others in the sector, and judging by some of the comments posted on its web page I wasn’t alone in finding the red tape review somewhat misconceived. I would argue that the waste and recycling sector, far from being strangled by regulation and enforcement, relies upon it for its survival, let alone its growth.

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August 28th, 2015

Waste hierarchy compliance: a tick box exercise?

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by Sam Taylor and Peter Jones

 

The waste hierarchy is one of the fundamental elements of the European waste management policy. Enshrined in the Waste Framework Directive, and transposed into UK law in the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 (‘the 2011 Regulations’), applying the waste hierarchy is a legal duty on all producers of waste. But with little threat of enforcement of this obligation, many businesses in the UK seem unmotivated to act and compliance appears to be literally no more than a tick box exercise.

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