February 3rd, 2017

Down on recycling: England’s recycling rate

by Peter Jones

 

The recent downtick in England’s household recycling rate has led to wailing and gnashing of teeth in some quarters, and something more like gloating in others. However, there has been little examination of what the numbers tell us about what underlies the change, and thus the appropriate policy responses.

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October 14th, 2016

Rejected hypotheses: analysing England’s recycling data

by Peter Jones and Andy Grant

 

Is the increase in recycling rejects in England due to an increase in the amount of contamination in recycling bins, caused by growing confusion amongst the public? Last month we identified a couple of other possibilities that would also explain the 184,000 tonne rise: better data capture, or better sorting at materials recycling facilities (MRFs). However, we didn’t attempt to assess which is the most plausible. In this article, we begin that tricky task.

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May 6th, 2016

Myth-takes – “You can sort it all with machines”

by Luke Dale-Harris and Peter Jones

 

Not long ago, The Spectator gave over a page to decry the plight of poor Mrs Ware, the “frail, elderly mother” of the article’s author, Michael. Mrs Ware, he wrote:

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April 29th, 2016

Going down the tubes: can automated waste collection work?

by Hulda Espolin Norstein

 

What’s the most common and convenient way to receive your utilities? When it comes to gas, electricity, water, sewerage, internet connections and even television, the answer is obvious – underground pipes and cables. That’s led some to wonder why our waste is still stored and transported over ground. Surely someone could come up with a system in which waste is managed out of sight, doing away with all those polluting trucks and the problems of missing your collection.

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April 1st, 2016

Myth-takes – “It all just ends up in landfill”

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by Luke Dale-Harris

 

If pub conversations and online comments are anything to go by, everybody seems to know someone whose friend works in waste. And inevitably, with unimpeachable authority, that friend of a friend has let slip the unspeakable ‘truth’: recycling is a waste of time – it all ends up in a landfill anyway.

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February 5th, 2016

Return to vendor

by Chris Sherrington

 

Last autumn I spent a very enjoyable time with my family visiting the Black Forest. Ever the environmental consultant, there were two green features of the trip that stuck in my mind.

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October 23rd, 2015

Should we welcome the return of nappy recycling?

by Hilary Vick

 

The news that nappy recycling specialist Knowaste is looking to open a new facility will receive rather a lukewarm welcome – at least from those of us engaged in trying to minimise the environmental impact of nappies by promoting reusables. Their plan, submitted on 14th September, is for a new absorbent hygiene product (AHP) recycling plant in West London, which would take in disposable nappies, adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products, using autoclave and shredding technology to recover plastics and fibres for recycling.

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