April 17th, 2015

Twisting in the wind

by Laurence Elliott


As the May election draws nearer, the UK wind industry waits to see what effect the new government will have on the development of onshore wind. Back in December 2014, David Cameron told the Commons Liaison Committee of senior MPs that the Conservatives would not subsidise any new onshore turbines if they were to win the general election, claiming that the public are “frankly fed up with so many wind farms being built that won’t be necessary”.

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January 20th, 2015

The outsource of it all

Manchester City Hall

by Phillip Ward


I once talked a Government Minister out of legislating for charging for domestic refuse disposal. It was 26 years ago and, in my defence, I knew nothing of waste policy, nor was recycling of much interest to most people at that time. My objections were not therefore based on waste considerations but on the fact that the Minister concerned wanted to add the provisions to the Parliamentary Bill I was managing. Since that was dealing with the introduction of the Poll Tax, my advice was that the Bill was controversial enough without opening up a whole new front. I do sometimes wonder whether, with the advantage of hindsight, I should have simply said “Yes, Minister”.

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February 24th, 2014

Is waste planning a waste of time?

by Deborah Sacks


I once attended a branch meeting of the Royal Town Planning Institute where the members were all feeling pretty low. The very concept of planning was under attack from the coalition government. Any reason for control of land use was being questioned at a fundamental level.

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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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November 15th, 2013

Waste prevention: an article of faith?


by Chris Sherrington


A friend of mine was walking in the countryside with his children when they came across an interesting array of characters. Dotted around a hillside, facing out to sea, with their hands held chest high and palms facing out, they seemed to be conducting some sort of prayer ritual. When they’d finished, they were happy to chat about what they’d been doing.

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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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May 24th, 2013

It’s not fair

Electricity Meter

by Chris Sherrington


As the father of two young children I am frequently reminded how early in life we develop a sense of what is fair, and (perhaps more intensely), what isn’t. One of my favourite methods of avoiding adjudicating on such matters is to step outside and busy myself with preparing materials for recycling. Given the nature of my work and my company’s culture, it will come as no surprise to hear that I am a pretty diligent recycler. Moreover, as far as I can, I try to prevent the generation of waste in the first place. The upshot is that the Sherrington family’s black bag waste is comprised almost entirely of plastic films and wraps.

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