June 10th, 2016

Resource plumbing: plugging the leaks in the circular economy

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by Ad Lansink

 

Zero waste, Cradle to Cradle design and the Circular Economy are all great concepts, presenting attractive targets to work towards. However, their ultimate feasibility is another matter. As we use and recycle products, won’t there always be some loss of material?

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June 3rd, 2016

What now for large-scale biomass?

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by Adam Baddeley

 

The last decade has seen a dramatic rise in the UK’s use of biomass to generate energy – both electricity and heat. However, as concerns have grown that – under some scenarios – biomass does not deliver cost-effective reductions in carbon emissions compared with other renewable technologies (i.e. it has higher ‘marginal abatement cost’ for CO2), there has been a bit of a cooling off from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). So, what is the future for large-scale biomass in the UK?

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May 27th, 2016

Myth takes – “Private bin collections would be cheaper”

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by Peter Jones

 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that, as councils in the UK adopt two, three or even perhaps four weekly residual waste collections, some disgruntled folk start wondering whether they might be able to buy in more frequent collections privately. However, anyone who thinks that “going private” would be cheap, or might be covered by a rebate from Council Tax for those who opted out, would be in for a big surprise.

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May 20th, 2016

Par for the course: Trump on the environment

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by Peter Jones

 

The transformation of Donald Trump from no-hoper to undisputed winner in the race for the Republican US presidential nomination has been as swift as it has been extraordinary. Despite the clear opposition of the power brokers of the Republican Party itself – who were even prepared to unite behind “Washington’s most hated man”, Ted Cruz, in a last-ditch effort to stop him – Trump has prevailed.

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May 13th, 2016

United in life and death: Maurice Strong and Mostafa Tolba

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by Steve Watson

 

Within the past six months, the environmental community – and for that matter the planet – has lost two of its most influential champions. Maurice Strong, who passed away in November 2015, and Mostafa Tolba, who died this March, were both active on the world stage in the earliest days of the environmental movement as key figures in the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

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May 6th, 2016

Myth-takes – “You can sort it all with machines”

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by Luke Dale-Harris and Peter Jones

 

Not long ago, The Spectator gave over a page to decry the plight of poor Mrs Ware, the “frail, elderly mother” of the article’s author, Michael. Mrs Ware, he wrote:

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April 29th, 2016

Going down the tubes: can automated waste collection work?

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by Hulda Espolin Norstein

 

What’s the most common and convenient way to receive your utilities? When it comes to gas, electricity, water, sewerage, internet connections and even television, the answer is obvious – underground pipes and cables. That’s led some to wonder why our waste is still stored and transported over ground. Surely someone could come up with a system in which waste is managed out of sight, doing away with all those polluting trucks and the problems of missing your collection.

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