October 21st, 2014

Risk and reward: is it worth bidding for DCLG’s Recycling Reward Scheme?

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by Clare Pitts-Tucker

 

Eric Pickles is making something of a habit of conjuring up pots of money to promote his pet policy proposals. Undeterred by the experience of the £250m Weekly Collection Support Scheme (WCSS), which proved quite an expensive way to persuade one authority to revert to weekly collections, he has now established a £5m Recycling Reward Scheme (RRS) fund that gives councils the chance to bid for resources to set up local recycling incentive schemes.

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September 5th, 2014

Rethinking recycling as reuse

Collection of plastic SML

by Ad Lansink

 

Eurostat recently published 2012 figures on the treatment of municipal waste across the EU28. Although there is variability in the quality of the underlying data and in the approach to compiling and reporting the figures, the headline numbers still make for interesting reading. The published data shows that the share of municipal waste recycled or composted has risen significantly – from 18% in 1995 to 42% in 2012. Breaking that figure down, however, one can see that only 27% was recycled and 15% composted, while 34% was landfilled and 24% incinerated.

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August 22nd, 2014

A mattress of opinion: how do you make the best of bulky waste?

Photo by Angie from Sawara, via Wikimedia Commons.

by Alex Murray

 

When you’re buying a new bed or mattress, it’s easy to forget about the hidden expense and hassle of parting company with your old one. So how do the reuse and recycling options for an old bed or mattress shape up? Is there something you can do that is easy, economical and environmentally friendly?

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June 13th, 2014

Football’s footprint: waste at the World Cup

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by Peter Jones

 

It’s possible that you’ve heard that there’s a bit of a football tournament taking place in Brazil. The hosts kicked off proceedings with a 3-1 win against Croatia last night. Any major sports event that brings tens of thousands of people from around the world together to watch a highly charged event in hot temperatures means the consumption of a large amount of pre-packaged food and drink. By now the soft drink cans and fast food wrappers (no alcohol allowed inside the stadium!) will have been swept up from São Paolo’s Corinthians stadium: but how much will be recycled?

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May 27th, 2014

Withdrawal symptoms: why Defra still has a role in waste

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by Dominic Hogg

 

How is England performing on waste management, and what are the prospects for the future? Last year, Defra announced its intention to step back in areas of waste management where businesses are better placed to act and there is no clear market failure. Now the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has launched an inquiry examining approaches to the recycling and treatment of municipal waste in England, and the impact of the reduction of Defra’s activities.

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April 11th, 2014

Does the nanny state have a role in changing nappies?

Nappy photo

by Thomas Vergunst

 

Some time ago I wrote an article on the merits of reusable nappies; to my surprise the piece proved to be rather popular on Isonomia and generated a whole string of comments on the site. It also stimulated some animated conversations – one friend challenged me as to:

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March 28th, 2014

Foam of contention: dealing with polystyrene wastes

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By Michelle Rose Rubio

 

Expanded polystyrene (also known as EPS foam, polystyrene or Styrofoam) is a popular plastic for the packaging of food items, electric and electronic goods, furniture and more due to its excellent insulating and protective properties, as well as a being a production material in its own right for such items as disposable cups, trays, cutlery and cartons.

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