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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February 7th, 2014

Don’t pooh-pooh pet waste

Recycling Cat crop

by Steve Watson

 

When I took my first step onto the property ladder last summer, I thought it would also help my ascent of Lansink’s Ladder: without numerous housemates’ dubious waste management practices to worry about, my residual bin seemed set to remain as sparsely populated as my unfurnished new home. However, I hadn’t counted on the arrival of fuzzy feelings of domesticity that led to the acquisition of an equally fuzzy companion. It wasn’t until my kitten was climbing around in my recycling bin that I started to realise just how much waste the little fellow was going to produce.

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January 31st, 2014

Goodbye, England’s rise: why have household recycling rates stalled?

Graph

by Roy Hathaway

 

One of the biggest questions facing UK waste policy makers and commentators is: why have recycling rates in England levelled off?

Until recently it was assumed – not least by Government – that the steady increase in UK recycling which marked the last decade would continue indefinitely, thanks mainly to the landfill tax escalator.

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January 24th, 2014

Difficult to digest: problems with the C&I food waste market

640px-Trashed_vegetables_in_Luxembourg

by Hattie Parke and Adam Baddeley

 

How well is the anaerobic digestion (AD) market developing in the UK? It’s a question that should concern not just investors and developers, but also policy makers and anyone else who wants to see more food waste treated higher up the waste hierarchy.

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December 19th, 2013

Let’s talk turkey

WhiteTurkeyBirdFace

by Peter Jones

 

For most Isonomia readers, Christmas will be a time of plenty – even of excess. Too much food, perhaps too much to drink – and maybe a little too much of certain relatives who outstay their welcome. It’s a time that brings people together – but it also puts in stark relief the divisions within society.

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September 27th, 2013

Fit for pigs?

Pig and carrot

by Edd Colbert

 

Pigs are perhaps the original solution to the problem of food waste, but one that current farming practice and legislation has put out to graze. It is likely that their voracious appetite for our leftovers and offcuts was the reason why humans first domesticated pigs, and for centuries they helped to make sure that little went to waste. In the last hundred years, cheap grain reduced pigs’ role as waste disposers, but it was the foot and mouth outbreak in the UK in 2001 that led to swill kicking the bucket.

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August 2nd, 2013

Malta-ed perceptions

Malta bring site_small

by Adrian Gibbs

 

When visiting an old city with a rich and troubled past it is hard not to get swept up in the grand, complex and often frightening history that has shaped the landscape, culture and administration. Fortunately, most guidebooks include an abridged history to introduce the grand names and great episodes of the past. It is, however, less easy to find a chronicle of a country’s waste management systems. This is perhaps a shame, as the same forces of self-interest, random chance, ‘good ideas at the time’ and inertia can surely be seen at play in the establishment of institutional waste systems as in the formation of cultural, political and architectural norms.

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