February 20th, 2015

Pickles, politics and power


by Peter Jones


“If you want to get anywhere in politics, you’ve got to be good at pushing on open doors. If you can’t resist pushing on closed ones, then you ought to have chosen another job.” That rather bleak assessment of the extent of ministerial power comes from C.P. Snow’s novel Corridors of Power, in which the lead characters try (and fail) to tip the balance against 1950s Britain seeking an independent nuclear deterrent.

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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.

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February 21st, 2014

Incentives and sensibility


by James Fulford and  Clare Pitts-Tucker


This week Eunomia, working in partnership with Serco, launched a new report investigating the impact of recycling incentive schemes. While giving some thought to Pay As You Throw (PAYT) and Deposit Refund Schemes (DRS) – types of incentive scheme widely used elsewhere in the world – we focussed on the benefits of offering incentives, or ‘rewards’, to residents for kerbside recycling.

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August 9th, 2013

Spitting image – Pickles’ month in the media

No spitting sign

by Peter Jones


You’ve got to hand it to Eric Pickles – he certainly keeps busy, even during the traditionally quiet summer recess. During July he made national news for his advocacy of allowing shoppers to park briefly on double yellow lines without risk of a fine, as a measure to revive town centres – a stance that seems to have earned him an invitation to appear on Top Gear. At the same time, his name has appeared in the waste trade press more frequently than most people’s bins are collected, lending his support to a number of new policy initiatives.

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July 19th, 2013

Crazy paving?

Seaside garden

by Chris Sherrington


It’s tidy and hard-wearing. You can park your car on it, getting it off the side of the road, and it doesn’t need watering or mowing. What’s not to like about block paving your front garden, if you’re lucky enough to have one?

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June 28th, 2013

What works?

Oscars Replicas

by Phillip Ward


I’m looking forward to the National Recycling Awards on 3rd July for which I am one of the judges. It’s always a lively evening and a great networking event. They even gave me an award once.

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May 31st, 2013

Where there isn’t a will

white poppy recolour

by Dominic Hogg


It barely seems credible today to recall that in the late 1990s and early noughties there were people making policy – in what is now Defra, and the Environment Agency – who sincerely believed that it was incredibly challenging to meet a recycling target for household waste of 25%.

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