August 15th, 2014

Has the circular economy killed the waste hierarchy?

Byzantine_CROP

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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April 25th, 2014

It pays to think about trade waste

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by Peter Jones

 

What’s top of most local authorities’ priority lists at the moment? The cumulative effects of successive cuts to central government funding are bound to put budgetary concerns right up there. So why do so few councils closely scrutinise the budgetary performance of their commercial waste service?

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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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February 28th, 2014

Reaching for the top rung: achieving waste prevention

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by Ad Lansink

 

Prevention is by far the most challenging rung to reach on Lansink’s Ladder. The prevailing growth-focused political and social mind-set isn’t easily compatible with waste prevention’s goals of decreasing consumption by cutting waste. Awareness of the looming threat of shortages of raw materials has increased in the forty years since the publication of the Club of Rome’s seminal report ‘Limits to Growth’. But so has consumer spending, and despite cyclical movements and international differences there has been almost continuous economic growth.

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February 24th, 2014

Is waste planning a waste of time?

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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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August 20th, 2013

The Mail’s de Mauley mistake

Kerbside Sort in Newport

by Peter Jones

 

What is it about the Daily Mail and stories about recycling? Back in April, I took apart a story they ran on the front page of the newspaper, versions of which claimed that 12m tonnes of household recycling ends up in Chinese landfill sites each year – when a little basic fact checking would have told them that only 10.7m tonnes of household recycling was actually collected in 2011/12. I followed this up by launching a complaint through the Press Complaints Commission – although more than four months on this remains to be resolved.

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