March 18th, 2014

Sorting the Mail

1024px-Daily_Mail_RML2375_JJD_375D

by Peter Jones

 

Today the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has published a brief report on the last of the complaints I raised about the Daily Mail’s negative coverage of recycling issues, and I thought I should give Isonomia readers an update.

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September 9th, 2013

Material differences: collection methods, quality and export

MRF Material

by Andy Grant

 

Why is it that we export recyclate? The Daily Mail’s outrage regarding exports back in April may have been fuelled by the mistaken belief that much of the material is landfilled, but to some the fact that we ship recyclate overseas is quite outrageous enough: Doretta Cocks was reported as calling the practice “shameful”.

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September 6th, 2013

Incineration on a low-calorie diet

RDF

by Paul Dumble

 

What do you think the municipal solid waste of the future is going to be like? Recycling rates may have seen a downward blip last quarter, but if we’re to meet our targets you can rest assured they’ll resume their upward trend. That means less paper, card and plastic in the residual mix, and more organic material being separately collected for composting and anaerobic digestion. This entirely foreseeable trend has really profound implications for the waste to energy industry that we seem not to be taking account of – but which I believe will be soluble with the right technology.

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July 12th, 2013

Reading the resource roadmap

Commissioner Janez Potocnik at the inauguration of the

by Peter Jones

 

With so much of our environmental legislation having its roots in Europe, it surprises me that there is so little discussion, even in the trade press, of the direction that European waste policy seems to be taking. Perhaps the view is that, what matters are concrete proposals that have been through the Parliament and are backed by the European Council. Until we have them, speeches of Commissioners like Janez Potočnik are just so much hot air and documents like the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe destined for the recycling bin.

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April 12th, 2013

The Daily Mail’s recycling “con” con

Daily Mail clock, closeup

by Peter Jones

 

The Daily Mail ran an extraordinary story on its front page on 6th April, claiming that 12m tons (sic.) of material collected as household recycling is in fact being landfilled overseas. The article also reports that official statistics showing a recycling rate of 43% of household waste are overstated because “in reality, processors reject most recyclable material, which then often ends up in landfill sites.”

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January 14th, 2013

A jumper’s journey

Clothes for Recycling

by Clare Pitts-Tucker

 

What happens to your unwanted clothes when you get rid of them? The question is particularly pressing at Christmas, when our powerful gift giving customs may leave us with unwearable, unreturnable, unwanted clothing: a hideous Christmas jumper, perhaps, destined to be worn only once; or some thick woollen socks (very much like marmite, you either love them or you hate them); or perhaps your new gloves will prompt you to get rid of that old pair with a hole in. At this time of year, clothing of all degrees of quality is destined for the bin.

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October 9th, 2012

Exports: a waste of energy?

Container ship Hanjin Taipei

by Adam Baddeley

 

An article by one my colleagues last year set out an intelligent case for the export of waste from the UK for use as fuel in other European Union (EU) Member States, particularly highlighting that this need not be just a short-term fix. But the debate rumbles on, and has begun to take new forms, so I thought I would examine the numbers and see how the case for retaining our refuse derived fuel (RDF), also known as solid recovered fuel (SRF), for incineration in the UK, stacks up.

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