May 15th, 2015

The exercise of power: how to cut waste crime at landfills

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by Roy Hunt

 

I have been dealing with the Environment Agency for four years now, trying to bring about better regulation of a non-hazardous landfill in East Yorkshire. I have reported numerous concerns about the way the site was being operated, but despite twists and turns, virtually nothing was done for the first three years.

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March 27th, 2015

Stemming the tide of plastic bags

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By Sarah Baulch

 

True horror lies not in crumbling Gothic graveyards or the trappings of midnight movies but in the disturbing implications of mundane things. Having spent years researching the impacts of marine debris and long hours looking at pictures of creatures with plastic clogging their stomachs, now when I stand in a supermarket queue and see an endless tide of plastic bags flow from the checkouts to the world beyond all I can think about is where those bags are going to end up.

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March 20th, 2015

Talking GIB-berish

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by Dominic Hogg

 

We’ve now had more than two years of the Green Investment Bank (GIB), enough time to take a view on how green its intervention in the waste sector has been. It won’t be a surprise to hear that the answer is “not very”, but much more interesting to ask why.

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March 6th, 2015

Water quality: a fishy business

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by Thomas Appleby

 

It is easy to assume that it was public pressure which forced the Victorians in the UK to clean up the UK’s over-polluted 19th century waterways. But while that was partly true it is not the whole story.

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March 3rd, 2015

UK marine litter measures: a list as long as your arm?

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by Chiarina Darrah

 

It’s taken several years of sustained campaigning to bring marine litter onto the agenda, backed up by strategic work at the global and regional level by organisations like the UN, Regional Seas Programmes, the European Commission, national governments, and many others.

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February 20th, 2015

Pickles, politics and power

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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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January 16th, 2015

Mutual benefit: austerity, waste partnerships and Teckal

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by Wayne Lewis

 

The age of public sector austerity ushered in by the 2008 financial crisis has fallen with particular severity on local government. The Local Government Association (LGA) has calculated that the latest Local Government Finance Settlement announced on 18th December 2014 represents an 8.8% cut to local government budgets from April 2015. This brings to 40% the total reduction in core government funding since 2010 – then typically around two thirds of a council’s budget. Yet the deficit remains obstinately large and whatever the complexion of central government after May’s general election it’s likely that we’ll see councils’ spending power continue to shrink.

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