October 17th, 2014

Burning rubber: the problem of tyre-fuelled kilns

by Catherine Hansen


The decorative arts of ceramics and pottery have a long and honoured tradition. Whilst we cannot know exactly when the first kilns were built and the first clay fired, some very early examples of pottery have been unearthed in the Middle East, with the most ancient pottery fragments found at Catal Huyuk in Turkey dating from as long ago as 6500BC.

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December 27th, 2013

Olive oil processing wastes: a pressing issue


by Catherine Hansen


While olive oil is enjoyed the world over for its culinary and medicinal benefits, its production is integral to both the rural heritage and economy of North African and the Mediterranean. An estimated 2.9m tons of olive oil was produced worldwide in 2012, with some 2.5 million producers in the European Union’s olive sector alone — roughly one third of all EU farmers. This industry offers valuable opportunities, generating both seasonal work on farms and in the off-farm milling and processing industry; but while olive oil production has significant economic benefits, its downside is a surprisingly severe level of environmental harm and degradation.

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November 29th, 2013

Waste management in Morocco


by Catherine Hansen


Solid waste management is one of the major environmental problems threatening the Mediterranean Kingdom of Morocco. More than five million tons of solid waste is generated across the country every year, with the annual waste generation growth rate touching 3%. Proper disposal of municipal solid waste in Morocco is hampered by major deficiencies such as lack of proper infrastructure and suitable funding in areas outside of major cities.

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