November 14th, 2014

Ask Ad: climbing Lansink’s Ladder


by Ad Lansink and Steve Watson


It was a little under a year ago that Isonomia ran an article on the life and work of Dutch former politician and father of the waste hierarchy, Ad Lansink. It turned out to be one of our most read pieces, and happily also came to Ad’s attention. Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to have the chance to bring his thoughts to an English speaking audience, working with him to produce four articles based on chapters of his book De Kracht van de Kringloop.

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November 12th, 2014

Delta winning hand: waste management progress in Nigeria

Waste wall

by Benneth Obinna Obasiohia


Waste management is a serious problem in Nigeria. It is a problem that starts at a cultural level: many of the populace believe that once they remove waste from their homes it is no longer their concern, and you often see people disposing of their household waste in the streets at night. Once the waste gets out into the streets, it’s perceived as the duty of the government to handle it.

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November 7th, 2014

Continuity of the finite: the birth of the recycling symbol


by Steve Watson


No other conceptual motif from the world of waste management is as well-known as the recycling symbol. Even as I write this — ­trying to think up some words to say about the symbol’s ubiquity — I realise that those three infinitely looping arrows are in fact staring right at me, proudly adorning the office paper recycling bin.

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November 6th, 2014

Getting our blogs in a row

The Typing Pool

by the Administrator


In October each year residents of Tübingen in Germany take part in an unusual race. Anyone with a rubber duck can take part, and most years over 7,000 are released onto the river Neckar. The river banks are lined by cheering spectators as the yellow flotilla makes its stately progress along the 45 minute journey through the town, and €10,000 of prizes are up for grabs.

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October 31st, 2014

Is separate food waste collection expensive?

Caddy stack

by Peter Jones


The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s report on Waste management in England has been big news in waste this month, and by virtue of being a bit of a mixed bag most commentators have been able to find in it something to praise. The Committee had the unenviable job of trying to sift conflicting evidence from numerous interested parties, and perhaps it was inevitable that some of their recommendations would be in tension.

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October 24th, 2014

Pole position: the state of waste management in Poland


by Bernadeta Gottel


According to a Copenhagen Resource Institute (CRI) study Municipal Waste Management in Poland (2013), the combined Polish recycling rate for dry recyclables and organic waste has increased from 5% in 2004 to 21% in 2010. Another source provides similar, corroborating statistics, putting the dry recycling rate in Poland at 14% and the composting rate at 7%. The latest Eurostat data (for 2011) shows that the upward trend continuing, with the total recycled and composted reaching 28%. That is rapid rate of improvement, but leaves Poland well below the latest EU-27 average of 40% (25% recycled and 15% composted) – so what prospect is there of Poland reaching the EU’s mandatory 50% target by 2020?

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October 21st, 2014

Risk and reward: is it worth bidding for DCLG’s Recycling Reward Scheme?


by Clare Pitts-Tucker


Eric Pickles is making something of a habit of conjuring up pots of money to promote his pet policy proposals. Undeterred by the experience of the £250m Weekly Collection Support Scheme (WCSS), which proved quite an expensive way to persuade one authority to revert to weekly collections, he has now established a £5m Recycling Reward Scheme (RRS) fund that gives councils the chance to bid for resources to set up local recycling incentive schemes.

Read more on Risk and reward: is it worth bidding for DCLG’s Recycling Reward Scheme?…