Resource Efficiency & Waste Management

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!

How high? Europe raises the bar on recycling targets

Posted by Laura Blair on 7 October 2014

Rightly or wrongly, recycling targets are a major driver for resource management and naturally, everyone has different ideas of how high they should be, if they should exist at all. The UK is a case in point: Scotland and Wales are aiming for the 70% mark for recycling (of all waste) by 2025 and Northern Ireland is striving for 60% (of municipal waste). England on the other hand, seems content with the EU’s current target for 50% of household waste by 2020.

How should we regulate the circular economy?

Posted by Chris Nuttall on 30 September 2014

Using regulation effectively will be important to help achieve a circular economy. At a recent event I heard how the design of products within the context of a circular economy requires revolutionary thinking implemented through evolutionary processes. I think a similar approach could be applied to the development of regulations to help promote a circular economy.

Developing a business case for landscape scale water management

Posted by Rachel Harris on 12 September 2014

Water management is critical to support economic growth by ensuring the supply of enough water of sufficient quality, and minimizing the impacts of flooding. With changes to the way funding is allocated to water management schemes making the business case is essential to securing funding. Here’s our experience of working with the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership to develop their business case for water management and partnership working.

September… time for RWM and an opportunity to shout loud and proud about the UK waste sector!

Posted by Adam Read, Practice Director on 8 September 2014

I suppose I might be a little odd, but I really look forward to September every year. Yes, September might represent the end of Summer, the return to school and the somewhat unnecessary beginning of Christmas on the British high street, but for me September is a time to celebrate! We are only a few weeks into the new football season and hopes remain high (even for a Tottenham Hotspur fan), it sees the first games in the Arriva Premiership which helps to define my weekends and my mood (for those who don’t know I am a season ticket holder at Northampton Saints), the leaves begin to fall and the British autumn colours begin to warm our hearts, but more importantly it is when the UK waste industry opens its doors, in its full glory, with the 3 day RWM with CIWM Exhibition and Conference at the NEC (Birmingham).

8 of the strangest things we’ve seen thrown away

Posted by Kate Davis, Senior Consultant on 5 September 2014

Have you ever really thought about the items we throw away in the UK? Well our consultants know because they enjoy visiting landfill sites and looking in rubbish bins!

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