October 28th, 2016

Are councils driving waste on the road to nowhere?

by Neil Grundon   In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher took a scythe to a bloated and unproductive public sector with the introduction of ‘Compulsory Competitive Tendering’ (CCT). Like most things Thatcher did, it was divisive but effective, and eventually undone by its dogmatic application to everything. For Grundon, it opened up a huge opportunity, although […]


October 7th, 2016

Back to MRF: rejects and contamination

by Andy Grant and Peter Jones   When we wrote last month about the possible causes of the rise in reported recycling rejects, one of the concerns we raised was that materials recycling facilities (MRFs) have historically underreported rejects. We also highlighted the concerns reprocessors have in the past expressed regarding the quality of MRF […]


March 18th, 2014

Sorting the Mail

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by Peter Jones   Today the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has published a brief report on the last of the complaints I raised about the Daily Mail’s negative coverage of recycling issues, and I thought I should give Isonomia readers an update. When I first encountered the Mail’s recycling stories, I didn’t think of making […]


January 31st, 2014

Goodbye, England’s rise: why have household recycling rates stalled?

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by Roy Hathaway   One of the biggest questions facing UK waste policy makers and commentators is: why have recycling rates in England levelled off? Until recently it was assumed – not least by Government – that the steady increase in UK recycling which marked the last decade would continue indefinitely, thanks mainly to the […]


January 3rd, 2014

Paper cuts: is the iPad bad for recycling?

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by James Fulford   Isonomia’s editor gave me a quick tour yesterday of the site’s December readership numbers. Amongst the predictable good news – the site has more than doubled in popularity in the last year – one stat in particular caught my eye: the blog had page impressions on December 25th! It wasn’t the […]


October 4th, 2013

Arson about?

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by Joe Hudson and James Fulford   It seems as though the waste and recycling press has been full of stories about fires at recycling facilities this summer. Some have been big enough even to make national news. Earlier in August, 60 firefighters were called in to battle a blaze involving piles of segregated packaging […]


September 9th, 2013

Material differences: collection methods, quality and export

MRF Material

by Andy Grant   Why is it that we export recyclate? The Daily Mail’s outrage regarding exports back in April may have been fuelled by the mistaken belief that much of the material is landfilled, but to some the fact that we ship recyclate overseas is quite outrageous enough: Doretta Cocks was reported as calling […]