August 15th, 2014

Has the circular economy killed the waste hierarchy?


by Thomas Vergunst


The concept causing the biggest stir in the resource sector at the moment is without doubt the circular economy. Every other conference and workshop appears to be attempting to untangle its various forms and guises, and understand how it might be implemented in practice. It isn’t unexpected that it should form the central theme of events such as the recent Resource conference in London or Brussels’ Green Week, but it was even on the agenda of the World Economic Forum at its annual meeting in Davos earlier this year.

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August 12th, 2014

Is the circular economy achievable or desirable?

by Roy Hathaway


Defra Resources Minister Dan Rogerson drew a lot of criticism when he said, at the CIWM/ESA conference in June, that a completely circular economy was neither achievable nor desirable.

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August 8th, 2014

Dryness in Gaza: the Palestinian water crisis


by Amir Dakkak


For almost a month the Gaza Strip has been subject to regular Israeli bombardment that has made headlines around the world. While concerns have focused on the direct impact on the civilian population and the lack of medical supplies available to deal with the rising number of casualties, less attention is being given to a problem that could in the end prove more deadly.

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August 6th, 2014

When you blog upon a star…

The Typing Pool

by the Administrator


According to Japanese folklore, a celestial love story renews itself every July: only on the seventh day of the seventh month are the parted lovers and star gods Orihime and Hikoboshi permitted to meet across the Milky Way, which usually keeps them apart. In modern day Japan, people celebrate by writing wishes on small strips of paper and hanging them from bamboo trees. When the 2008 G8 summit held in Toyako, Hokkaido, happened to coincide with this star festival – known as Tanabata – Japanese premier Yasuo Fukuda encouraged each G8 leader to write and hang their wish for a better world.

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August 1st, 2014

Storing up trouble: is export the cause of ‘orphaned’ waste?


by Mike Brown


To call the increase in the amount of UK waste being exported to mainland Europe as refuse derived fuel (RDF) over the past few years ‘dramatic’ would be an understatement. Growth from around 270,000 tonnes in 2011 to over 1,500,000 tonnes in 2013 has now been surpassed with current tonnages of 800,000 in the first quarter of 2014. With landfill around £100/t, exporting residual waste to take advantage of low gate fees at underused European incinerators is an enticing prospect. Recently, this prospect has become relevant not only to waste companies managing C&I waste but also to those handling municipal waste. And with European facilities usually considerably more efficient than those in the UK – harnessing heat in addition to generating electricity – there can even be a strong environmental case for export.

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July 25th, 2014

Full circle: waste policy changes for a circular economy


by Dominic Hogg


The interest which the most recent incarnation of the circular economy (CE) has generated provides an opportunity to reappraise our thinking. There are two important areas of policy which I have long felt needed addressing, and I’ve challenged the concepts against the principles of the CE. The logic of the CE seems to strengthen the case for change rather than weakening it.

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July 18th, 2014

CfD FiTs: CHP-ing away at DECC’s biomass strategy?

Photo by Rick Kimpel, via Wikimedia Commons.

by Adam Baddeley


Is the Government’s approach to the use of biomass to meet our power needs in danger of being subverted? The renewable energy sector is a dense thicket of acronyms, denoting the range of subsidies and contracting mechanisms being used to provide support to the various technologies being used to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. In the case of biomass, there appears to be a real risk that both investors and the Government may be uncertain about the overall effect of these complex rules, which risk undermining the policy position that has been settled on.

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