June 6th, 2014

WEEEfore art thou waste?

Fireworks and Phones

by Thomas Vergunst

 

A couple of New Year’s Eves ago I was in London, welcoming in 2013 with the city’s famous fireworks display. No doubt about it, the fireworks were impressive – what’s not impressive about burning £2 million on an event that only lasts a few minutes? – but I was more taken aback by the fact that almost every person present was watching the event through their phones: a mediated reality to try to capture the moment for eternity.

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June 3rd, 2014

A lawyer, a ladder and a fairytale

The Typing Pool

by the Administrator

 

What potent blood hath modest May – so said Ralph Waldo Emerson in his extended poetic evocation of spring, May-Day. And had he the foresight to predict the Internet, he’d no doubt have agreed that the fiery force of the month renews not just the earth but also environmental blogs. So, if you’ve spent the month distracted by the wealth of forms, sidetracked by the flush of hues or even transported by joy in rosy waves outpoured, what did you miss on Isonomia?

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May 30th, 2014

The bud, the bad, and the ugly

Cotton_swabs_(or_cotton_buds)_-in_round_container

by Thomas Appleby

 

I recently joined a group of students from the University of West England – where I lecture in Law – and the Marine Conservation Society in a beach clean at Sand Bay in North Somerset. During the clean, I was appalled by the huge number of blue plastic cotton bud stalks littering the beach, as were the students taking part. These stalks, which are used to hold the buds, are apparently washed down through the sewers: the public, not realising these plastic stalks do not decompose, flush them down the toilet and sewage treatment does not filter them out. The stalks then pollute the beach and interfere with the public’s enjoyment.

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May 27th, 2014

Withdrawal symptoms: why Defra still has a role in waste

Incin-Recyc Graph_SML

by Dominic Hogg

 

How is England performing on waste management, and what are the prospects for the future? Last year, Defra announced its intention to step back in areas of waste management where businesses are better placed to act and there is no clear market failure. Now the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has launched an inquiry examining approaches to the recycling and treatment of municipal waste in England, and the impact of the reduction of Defra’s activities.

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May 22nd, 2014

Should the waste sector vote UKIP?

Better_Off_Out_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1164689

by Peter Jones

 

I wonder how much of the waste sector has read up on UKIP’s policies. UKIP’s rapid growth looks set to give it far greater representation in local government than ever before and its councillors will have correspondingly greater influence. So, what could this mean for waste?

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May 16th, 2014

Litter-picking: why bother?

ERwithLitter_SML

by Erica Rose

 

One day last May, a bag of litter caused me to have a life-changing revelation. I was on the verge of the A170 in North Yorkshire at the time, 100 metres or so into my first solo litter-pick, the wheelbarrow was almost full and I was just about to turn for home when I spotted the bag in a ditch. It was full of the aftermath of someone’s lunch – cans, sweet wrappers and sandwich-boxes – and as I dragged it out I was angry enough to rant aloud at whoever had dumped it there. The bit that was revelatory (and printable) was when I heard myself saying “What did you think was going to happen to this, Mr Bag-Dumping Moron? Who did you think was going to pick it up? Do you believe in the Crap Fairy or something?!” I stopped. I looked at myself with the bag in my hands. Ah.

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May 9th, 2014

The giant of Africa’s giant waste problem

640px-Charette_poubelle_in_Ouagadougou

by Wale Bakare

 

Solid waste management is the most pressing environmental challenge faced by urban and rural areas of Nigeria, a country with a population exceeding 170 million and one of the largest producers of solid waste in Africa. Despite a host of policies and regulations, solid waste management in the country is assuming alarming proportions with each passing day.

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