April 28th, 2017

Myth takes – “Separate streams need separate containers”

by Peter Jones

 

One of the recurring claims in the tabloid press coverage of waste and recycling issues is that if local authorities collect more separate streams of recycling, it means householders having to separate each waste stream into a different container. The view in the popular press is typically that, if householders have to do more source separation it will result in dissatisfaction, confusion, and more contaminated recycling. It’s a view that has little basis in reality.

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February 24th, 2017

Separate ways: a commercial waste case study

by Nick Stott and Peter Jones

 

It’s now a little over two years since the separate collection requirements under the amended Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 took effect. For waste collectors, this made it compulsory to ensure that, if they were collecting paper, metals, plastics or glass, they did so by way of separate collection – subject to the rather hard to interpret condition that separation is ‘necessary’ and ‘practicable’ (‘TEEP’).

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October 16th, 2015

Cash on collection: selling separated recyclables

by Peter Jones and Joe Papineschi

 

Local authority budgets are slimmer than ever, making it imperative for councils that separately collect materials to achieve the best possible value from them. However, while councils are experienced purchasers of goods and services, selling isn’t something they have much call to do.

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October 2nd, 2015

On tape: regulation in the waste sector

by Peter Jones

 

Last month, the Cabinet Office concluded its call for comments to help it “identify unnecessary barriers to growth and productivity in the waste sector”. I responded, as did many others in the sector, and judging by some of the comments posted on its web page I wasn’t alone in finding the red tape review somewhat misconceived. I would argue that the waste and recycling sector, far from being strangled by regulation and enforcement, relies upon it for its survival, let alone its growth.

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October 3rd, 2014

Reverting to TEEP: more Waste Regulations quandaries

Sacks in London

by Peter Jones

 

The one commonly accepted fact about the Waste Regulations is that they aren’t well understood. Local authorities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are grappling with the question of whether separate household collections of glass, metal, paper and card are “necessary” and “practicable”. In the absence of case law and with the Environment Agency only now starting to make clear how it will approach enforcement, these poorly defined concepts are far from easy to apply. But I’ve come across some interesting and difficult cases lately that help to reveal what the Regulations might mean in practice.

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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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January 24th, 2014

Difficult to digest: problems with the C&I food waste market

by Hattie Parke and Adam Baddeley

 

How well is the anaerobic digestion (AD) market developing in the UK? It’s a question that should concern not just investors and developers, but also policy makers and anyone else who wants to see more food waste treated higher up the waste hierarchy.

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