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EFRA Committee reports on state of waste management in England

24th October 2014 Posted by

Defra may have hoped that fences had been mended with the waste management sector since its now infamous letter last November, which announced that it would be “stepping back from areas where there was no sign of market failure”. However, those hopes must surely have been dashed by the publication of the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The industry is changing

20th October 2014 Posted by

I will soon celebrate my 12-year stint in the ‘waste industry’, as the recycling and resource sector was once referred to. I have done a lot of interviewing recently and was asked by one of the candidates why, after more than a decade, I was still in the waste business and working for SITA UK. The answer I gave was

If young people are disengaged, whose problem is that?

17th October 2014 Posted by

The headline from a recent YouGov poll examining public attitudes towards recycling was that Britain’s so-called Facebook generation (youth aged 18-24) “are the most apathetic generation when it comes to recycling waste”. Apparently only 57 per cent of 18-24 year olds admitted to being committed recyclers, with 71 per cent thinking recycling was not their personal responsibility. In contrast, the

World Environment Day 2014

5th June 2014 Posted by

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is “small island developing states” or SIDS, nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change and rising seas. How might this apply to the UK, and what relevance might this have for the waste and resource management sector?

The shift in the business population reduces the size of the commercial waste market in the UK

6th May 2014 Posted by

Demographic changes in the UK have occurred not just in the general population, but also in the business population. These changes make interesting reading in terms of the future prospects for waste and resource management. Latest figures published by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills in October 2013 estimated that there were 4.9 million private sector businesses in the

Resource event 2014

19th March 2014 Posted by

The recent Resource event at ExCel in London – Realising the Opportunities of a Circular Economy – could not have been better timed. Nobody now questions the benefits that a circular economy can bring, in terms of saving businesses money, and for the wider environmental benefits from using our natural resources more efficiently. As a concept, we can safely say

Bag policy should be binned

11th February 2014 Posted by

The UK has had a penchant for over-complicating environmental legislation. The Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (scrapped in 2013), the Carbon Reduction Commitment (supposedly simplified in 2012) and most notoriously, the Electricity Market Reform legislative package – described by one commentator as “a scheme which is liable to disintegrate under the weight of its own complexity” – spring to mind. The

Doctor’s Orders

5th February 2014 Posted by

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a debate about re-use, as a panellist at an industry event in London. The people and discussions were fascinating and inspirational, but what really intrigued me was the aspiration, complexity and also the terminology used to describe various re-use activities. Currently there are many relatively small schemes seeking to make use

Picking winners

14th January 2014 Posted by

Two years ago, SITA UK published a document called ‘Driving Green Growth’ , which aimed to help Government understand the potential of the waste and resource recovery industry. We listed the potential opportunities, which included: Investment of £20-£25 billion 84,000 direct and indirect new jobs Millions of tonnes of resources recovered and reinserted into the economy A 10 per cent

Guidance on weekly rubbish collections

9th January 2014 Posted by

Waste managers are likely to read the Department for Communities and Local Goverment’s (DCLG) recent Guidance on Weekly Rubbish Collections with, at best, a sense of disbelief. In my view, the response of professional and trade bodies to date has actually been mystifyingly polite. Firstly, the document doesn’t provide “guidance … on how councils can and should deliver weekly rubbish

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