July 17th, 2015

Why don’t we implement the waste hierarchy?


by Dominic Hogg


Eunomia has been tracking capacity in both residual waste treatment facilities and at anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities in recent years. The lesson of the former is that we may be moving to a situation where we have more capacity than we need by the latter part of the decade. There have been a number of reports indicating the growth in this capacity. They don’t always come out with the same figures, and one of the reasons for this is that they posit different levels of recycling in future. In residual waste, we are dealing with material which it would be reasonable to assume will be diminishing over time if waste and resource management policy is successful.

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April 10th, 2015

Transitioning to a circular economy


by Ad Lansink


For a society accustomed to the achievements of a linear economy, the transition to a circular system is a hard task even to contemplate. Although the changes needed may seem daunting, it is important to remember that we have already come a long way. However, the history of the waste hierarchy has taught that political perseverance and unity of approach are essential to achieving long term visions in supply chain management.

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January 30th, 2015

Better out than in?

Be careful what you wish for

by Hulda Espolin Norstein


If the UK was to leave the European Union, what difference would it really make to our environmental laws?

UKIP’s increased influence on the political agenda and David Cameron’s eurosceptic-appeasing promise to hold an in/out referendum has rapidly turned the UK’s exit from a pipe-dream to a real possibility. Both sides of the debate are spending considerable time and effort informing the public (and each other) about why the UK should remain in/leave the EU; how obvious it is that continued EU membership is essential/detrimental to turning the economy around; how crucial/unnecessary it is to our geopolitical influence – in fact, how the EU is the solution to/cause of most of the UK’s problems.

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January 2nd, 2015

Down in the dumps with Delingpole

Landfill habitat sml

by Peter Jones


For a couple of years now it has been clear that the Daily Mail, despite being printed on largely recycled newsprint, is no fan of recycling. As regular Isonomia readers will know, on occasion I’ve been able to force it to withdraw some of its more egregious claims.

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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 15th, 2014

Has the circular economy killed the waste hierarchy?


by Thomas Vergunst


The concept causing the biggest stir in the resource sector at the moment is without doubt the circular economy. Every other conference and workshop appears to be attempting to untangle its various forms and guises, and understand how it might be implemented in practice. It isn’t unexpected that it should form the central theme of events such as the recent Resource conference in London or Brussels’ Green Week, but it was even on the agenda of the World Economic Forum at its annual meeting in Davos earlier this year.

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May 27th, 2014

Withdrawal symptoms: why Defra still has a role in waste

Incin-Recyc Graph_SML

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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