Resource Efficiency & Waste Management

Why are we not making real recycling progress?

Posted by Steve Rymil on 20 November 2014

More household waste arisings and little recycling progress. That’s how I would sum up the 2013/14 England household waste data.

Doctors should do more to reduce waste

Posted by Jess Twemlow on 11 November 2014

Last week, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges[] (AoMRC) reported that the NHS could save up to £2 billion a year if it provided more focused care and looked after the waste it produces.

Can your site afford to be non-compliant? Environment Agency to toughen up waste site regulation fees

Posted by Carrie Lorton & Jennie Smith on 10 November 2014

The UK Environment Agency is proposing to crack-down on the increasing number of non-compliant waste sites and strengthen measures that penalise consistently poor performing sites. This is partly in response to the costs of dealing with increasing containment failures at anaerobic digestion sites.

Will aid solve the world’s waste management crisis?

Posted by David Lerpiniere on 4 November 2014

Waste management represents one of the biggest budget expenditures for any local government (irrespective of global geography and gross national income), but the waste sector received less than 0.3% of overall official development finance in the ten years up to 2012, thirty times less than the water and sanitation sector.

Don’t exclude energy recovery from the circular economy!

Posted by Adam Read on 4 November 2014

In my opinion, and that of many industry experts who attended an International BioEnergy Task force meeting earlier this month, energy recovery is at the heart of the circular economy.

Is there proof recycling incentive schemes work?

Posted by Gareth Morton on 29 October 2014

The latest funding wheeze from the indefatigable Mr Pickles has provoked some interesting discussion about recycling incentive schemes and their efficacy. From everything I’ve seen and heard (including the recent press release issued by Greenredeem singing their praises) the jury is still well and truly out. I’ve asked Greenredeem if I can see its supporting evidence as I’d be really interested to know if they really have found the ‘holy grail’ but they’re not prepared to release the detail – yet. This is very disappointing as there are so many other factors that can positively influence recycling (improving collection services, expanding the materials collected, restricting residual capacity, general communications etc.) that you really shouldn’t make claims that you’re not prepared to substantiate.

Circular Economy Thinking vs Life-Cycle Assessment

Posted by Simon Gandy on 27 October 2014

“You can't put a square peg in a round hole” we are traditionally told. But, during one of my lucid early morning cogitations, I realised that the countless infographics I have seen on circular economy thinking (hereafter CET) are, in essence, trying to put a triangular peg in a round hole.

Recycling labels– Do they help or confuse us?

Posted by Tim Lineham, Principal Consultant on 23 October 2014

If you buy any product today, somewhere on the packaging you are likely to find a recycling label; a symbol or words of advice on how to recycle the material. The aims of these labels are to increase recycling, by helping people understand what the packaging is made from. However, finding it is not always easy and sometimes it is not what it seems

The need for revolution not evolution in resource use

Posted by Adam Read, Practice Director on 20 October 2014

But, only 2 weeks ago Dan Rogerson MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for water, forestry, rural affairs and resource management) whilst speaking at the CIWM-ESA Annual Conference encouraged the waste industry to concentrate on closed-loop processes that generate the maximum environmental, economic and social benefits rather than a full circular economy, and that efforts should be focused on moving towards a “more circular economy” rather than an “entirely circular economy”, describing the latter as both “undesirable and unachievable.” Personally I think he is right, pragmatism is important as we look for the necessary step changes (revolutions) needed to make our systems and societies more elliptical in nature, but sometimes you have to aim high even if you are happy to settle for getting ‘only some of the way there’ - targets must be a stretch to be effective!

Three Weekly Collections – Communicating the benefits to drive performance

Posted by Gareth Morton on 9 October 2014

There are times when I scratch my head in wonder at the pronouncements from a certain government minister about weekly waste collections being a ‘basic right’. Especially when I remember the 11 week refuse worker’s strike here in my own home city of Leeds in 2009 - eleven weeks and no collections. My refuse bin was full and I had to pack it a bit towards the end but we managed. The recycling was more of a problem…it was stacking up in my garage and it took a couple of collections to clear the backlog!

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