February 24th, 2017

Separate ways: a commercial waste case study

by Nick Stott and Peter Jones

 

It’s now a little over two years since the separate collection requirements under the amended Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 took effect. For waste collectors, this made it compulsory to ensure that, if they were collecting paper, metals, plastics or glass, they did so by way of separate collection – subject to the rather hard to interpret condition that separation is ‘necessary’ and ‘practicable’ (‘TEEP’).

Read more on Separate ways: a commercial waste case study…


January 26th, 2017

What do Scots toss?

by Chris Sherrington

 

What are people most likely to litter? This is a surprisingly tricky question to answer, as the data on litter is poor. However, if we want to have effective policies to reduce littering, it’s important to understand the behaviours we need to change, and the scale of the impact they could achieve.

Read more on What do Scots toss?…


January 6th, 2017

What’s behind the rise in three-weekly rubbish collections?

by Peter Jones

 

Three-weekly residual waste collections are on the rise, but remain highly controversial. Their introduction has been heralded by stories of over-spilling bins, growing populations of rats, and people buying “top-up” collections from opportunist private bin companies – in fact, all of the same ill-founded fears that were raised about fortnightly collections.

Read more on What’s behind the rise in three-weekly rubbish collections?…


August 12th, 2016

Turning up the heat on energy strategy

Pilot Light

by Adam Baddeley and Rob Reid

 

Although heating accounts for almost 50% of UK total energy consumption, it remains strangely absent from the renewable energy debate. Former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd brought it up last November, but only as a begrudging admission that slow progress was putting us way off track to meet 2020’s 15% Renewable Energy Directive (RED) target. Yet just a week later, Rudd’s ‘policy reset’ speech contained no major goals on renewable heat – instead, it signalled renewed support for gas to replace coal-fired electricity generation backed by streamlined regulatory and consenting requirements for hydraulic fracturing.

Read more on Turning up the heat on energy strategy…


January 22nd, 2016

Container drivers: tackling the takeaway packaging problem

by George Cole and Jonathan Roberts

 

It would be a committed environmentalist indeed whose antipathy to packaging never wavered at the temptation of a takeaway. While the thought of a greasy container in the residual bin might not be your biggest regret after a night out, the green-minded diner cannot totally overlook the adverse effects of this eminently throw-away product.

Read more on Container drivers: tackling the takeaway packaging problem…


October 16th, 2015

Cash on collection: selling separated recyclables

by Peter Jones and Joe Papineschi

 

Local authority budgets are slimmer than ever, making it imperative for councils that separately collect materials to achieve the best possible value from them. However, while councils are experienced purchasers of goods and services, selling isn’t something they have much call to do.

Read more on Cash on collection: selling separated recyclables…


September 18th, 2015

Phosphorus: a cosmic lesson for a finite planet

by Thomas Vergunst

 

The tiny island state of Nauru, stranded halfway between Hawaii and Australia and spanning a mere 21km2, owes its existence to phosphorus. From an uninhabitable coral outcrop, Nauru formed as migrating birds with a propensity for depositing vast amounts of phosphorus rich guano used it as a resting place on their journey across this barren stretch of the Pacific. Over many millennia these birds helped to build up an island, which was miraculously chanced upon some 3,000 years ago by, one must assume, rather grateful seafaring Polynesians.

Read more on Phosphorus: a cosmic lesson for a finite planet…