August 7th, 2015

Crash and burn: what overcapacity means for UK EfW


by Chris Cullen and Adam Baddeley


Many people in the waste sector have spent their careers managing seemingly ever-increasing quantities of residual waste. Efforts over the last fifteen years have focused on diverting it away from landfill. For those grappling with this problem, it can be difficult to believe that we’re rapidly approaching a point where we’ll be worrying about a lack of residual waste to feed the treatment facilities we’ve built to achieve this goal.

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March 20th, 2015

Talking GIB-berish


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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December 5th, 2014

Is waste a source of renewable energy?


by Mike Brown


Whenever you look at material produced by the developers and users of energy from waste (EfW) incinerators, you soon come across the phrase “renewable energy”. Vince Cable used the term to describe a new incinerator in Lincolnshire just last week. On the websites of companies such as ViridorSITA, of councils from Glasgow to London, or of the Green Investment Bank, which has stepped in to fund several EfW projects – incineration is consistently referred to in the terms generally reserved for forms of energy such as wind, wave and geothermal.

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November 14th, 2014

Ask Ad: climbing Lansink’s Ladder


by Ad Lansink and Steve Watson


It was a little under a year ago that Isonomia ran an article on the life and work of Dutch former politician and father of the waste hierarchy, Ad Lansink. It turned out to be one of our most read pieces, and happily also came to Ad’s attention. Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to have the chance to bring his thoughts to an English speaking audience, working with him to produce four articles based on chapters of his book De Kracht van de Kringloop.

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October 24th, 2014

Pole position: the state of waste management in Poland


by Bernadeta Gottel


According to a Copenhagen Resource Institute (CRI) study Municipal Waste Management in Poland (2013), the combined Polish recycling rate for dry recyclables and organic waste has increased from 5% in 2004 to 21% in 2010. Another source provides similar, corroborating statistics, putting the dry recycling rate in Poland at 14% and the composting rate at 7%. The latest Eurostat data (for 2011) shows that the upward trend continuing, with the total recycled and composted reaching 28%. That is rapid rate of improvement, but leaves Poland well below the latest EU-27 average of 40% (25% recycled and 15% composted) – so what prospect is there of Poland reaching the EU’s mandatory 50% target by 2020?

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September 5th, 2014

Rethinking recycling as reuse

Collection of plastic SML

by Ad Lansink


Eurostat recently published 2012 figures on the treatment of municipal waste across the EU28. Although there is variability in the quality of the underlying data and in the approach to compiling and reporting the figures, the headline numbers still make for interesting reading. The published data shows that the share of municipal waste recycled or composted has risen significantly – from 18% in 1995 to 42% in 2012. Breaking that figure down, however, one can see that only 27% was recycled and 15% composted, while 34% was landfilled and 24% incinerated.

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May 22nd, 2014

Should the waste sector vote UKIP?

by Peter Jones


I wonder how much of the waste sector has read up on UKIP’s policies. UKIP’s rapid growth looks set to give it far greater representation in local government than ever before and its councillors will have correspondingly greater influence. So, what could this mean for waste?

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