January 14th, 2019

Garden waste: what does Defra want councils to do?

by Peter Jones   There are many good things in the waste strategy published by Defra last month. It’s packed full of ideas, and signals a potentially transformative change in the way that England manages resources – although with many of the important details left to be resolved through consultation. Unfortunately for a strategy, one […]


December 7th, 2018

The circle line: planning and the circular economy

by Hannah Gillie   Earlier this month, Glasgow declared its ambition to be the first Circular City in Scotland. It joins an ever-increasing list of cities worldwide, though chiefly in Europe and China, which are adopting circular economy agendas and strategies as a route to resource efficiency. As an alternative to the traditional ‘take-make-dispose’ process […]


April 20th, 2018

Spending review: what waste management costs councils

by Peter Jones   Last month the National Audit Office (NAO) published an assessment of the financial sustainability of English local authorities. Some of the findings were pretty stark, with the NAO reporting that “spending on services has fallen by 19.2% in real terms” since 2010/11, with expenditure on areas other than social care falling […]


February 2nd, 2018

Street smart: how can councils better tackle litter?

by Neil Greenhalgh   Walk down any street in Britain and you are likely to find litter: from crisp packets and drinks cans to fag-ends and chewing gum. I am still astonished by the audacity of people who clearly think unwanted confectionery and fast food packaging belong in a gutter or on a pavement. Allowing […]


January 26th, 2018

Fly-tipping in the face of the evidence

by Peter Jones   The number of fly-tipping incidents recorded by councils in England has gone up every year since 2012/13.  In 2016/17, the total number of fly-tips exceeded a million for the first time since 2008/09. Around two-thirds of incidents are classed as involving household waste; the number of such cases has increased by […]


December 1st, 2017

Myth takes: the bin police

by Peter Jones   Are local authorities unjustifiably snooping on householders’ bins? Are they carrying out CCTV surveillance of people’s compliance with local bin rules? And are they looking to impose fines of thousands of pounds on people who break them? Anyone exposed to certain sections of the media would be likely to come away […]


September 22nd, 2017

Schedule 2 waste: are local authorities missing out?

by Joss Winter   This month, North Kesteven District Council in Lincolnshire is implementing new charges for what is still often referred to as “Schedule 2” waste. That’s the name given to waste from properties such as schools and care homes, which is classified as “household waste”, but which councils are allowed to charge for […]