Resource Efficiency & Waste Management

The future of the NHS – is it circular?

Posted by Jess Twemlow on 17 April 2015

The future of the NHS is a hot topic at the moment and is going to be one of the defining issues of this election. The NHS faces a future of increasing constraints and emerging challenges that threaten the sustainability of services. Regardless of which party is in power after the 7th May, NHS Trusts across the country will have to find millions of pounds worth of efficiency savings over the next few years. Shifting to a circular economy model will help them achieve this and will free up funds for direct patient care.

Material cycles must underpin a new global circular economy

Posted by Adam Read, Practice Director on 2 April 2015

In the last few months we have seen the continuing worrying trend of international commodity markets falling, and in particular the value of UK recyclate reaching worryingly low levels! Clearly this might have something to do with the amount of commingled recyclate we generate in the UK, even with TEEP attempting to test the supposition that commingled is OK, but has as much to do with the increasing volumes of recyclate coming from other countries around the globe, including Eastern Europe, India and China. With the bottom falling out of key commodities, there is now real pain being experienced by local authorities, their waste management contractors, and ultimately the reprocessors and remanufacturers based in the UK. Many local government refuse and recycling contracts are based on expected income levels from recyclate helping offset basic service costs, whilst many recent collection contracts have encourage profit share arrangements, which are now delivering little value to all partners.

Turning the Tables – the First Full UK Local Authority Carbon League Table

Posted by Simon Gandy on 25 March 2015

Although carbon league tables for local authorities (LAs) have been around for a while, they have not assessed the performance of the full waste service, focusing just on recycling and composting. This partial picture does not demonstrate the contributions (both positive and negative) that waste treatment technologies can make. For the first time, our new league table brings together information for the whole of the UK and for all local authority waste. The results are surprising.

House of Commons - Science and Technology Committee: Advanced genetic techniques for crop improvement: regulation, risk and precaution

Posted by Alan Mercer, Sciencewise Programme Manager on 26 February 2015

Thursday 26 February saw the publication of the much awaited report from the House of Commons - Science and Technology Committee on advanced genetic techniques for crop improvement: regulation, risk and precaution. This high profile committee has received evidence, both written and verbal from a wide range of stakeholders and interested parties. In addition to a detailed assessment of the scientific evidence relating to genetically modified crops, it is very pleasing to see how the Committee has recognised the importance of a more productive conversation with the public about what we, as a society, want from our food supply and what sort of agriculture we would like that supply to be based upon.

Contracts for Difference – will your renewable energy project get financial support?

Posted by Mark Ramsey, Principal Consultant on 25 February 2015

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction process for renewable energy generators is reaching a critical point and successful applicants should know the outcome tomorrow (26 February 2015).

Mega trends and the connectivity of our environment

Posted by Adam Read, Practice Director on 4 February 2015

I am fortunate that my role enables me to take on interesting assignments for a wide array of clients, and whilst finalising the new integrated waste strategy for Riyadh this month I have had the opportunity to work for 2 private sector clients who asked me to ‘horizon scan’ over the next 50 years and consider the likely impact of some key ‘issues’ on the sector we call waste management. This has been timely because this year mark’s Ricardo’s centenary, and, as part of this celebration, senior leaders within the company have been developing an industry presentation summarising the big issues for the company in the last 100 years and the biggest opportunities in the next 50. Of course I was asked to brainstorm the world of resources and waste. For this blog, I will leave my horizon scanning to the next decade or so, a turbulent time with clashing policy, environmental, social and economic agendas, which should be full of opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs with the right mind-set and a longer term strategic view.

How can Environmental Governance in Armenia’s Mining Sector be Strengthened?

Posted by Simon Pow, Principal Consultant on 2 February 2015

Mining is one of the Armenia’s most important, and arguably exciting, industries and activity has progressively increased since the mid-1990s placing the existing environmental policy/regulatory framework under considerable stress. The sector is fast growing and dynamic, but what controls are needed to place it onto a sustainable development footing?

Will TEEP achieve the desired outcomes either in the UK or across Europe?

Posted by Lorna Pannett on 12 January 2015

TEEP assessments Local authorities and waste collection companies across the UK are currently grappling with the implications of new ‘TEEP’ legislation which came into force on 1st January 2015. The legislation requires every waste collection authority in England to undertake a TEEP (technically, environmentally and economically practical) assessment to determine if key materials (paper, metal, plastic and glass) need to be separately collected in their area.

Waste consultancy in 2014

Posted by Adam Read, Practice Director on 24 December 2014

The waste consultancy business at Ricardo-AEA has had a varied and exciting year. We’ve travelled around the world from South Africa, to Egypt and from South America to Thailand; supported investors and waste management companies with treatment solutions, collections tendering and business case creation; done waste and packaging audits at pet shops and stone processing facilities; given presentations at conferences and exhibitions both at home and abroad; whilst delivering a portfolio of new training and embracing new technology to offer webinars, record videos and engage with our clients.

The Christmas Jumper Conundrum

Posted by SarahJane Widdowson on 22 December 2014

Earlier this month it was Charity Christmas jumper day at Ricardo-AEA and staff, keen to get into the Christmas spirit and raise money for a good cause, dug out their best and brightest jumpers to wear on the day.

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