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Closing the loop

9th April 2013 Posted by

The latest addition to the growing literature on the circular economy (Closing the loop: risk or reward?) offers a timely reminder that the waste management industry needs to respond to the fast-changing business environment in which it operates, if it is to retain its relevance. Thus far, the report suggests the industry has not fully grasped the seismic shift within

The Spring budget and landfill tax

5th April 2013 Posted by

With the announcement in the Chancellor’s Spring budget that the landfill tax escalator will remain unchanged at £8 per year, landfill tax will reach the Government’s ceiling of £80 per tonne of waste in 2014/15. No surprise here, though the lack of an announcement on the future level of the tax after 2014/15 comes as a disappointment. The Local Government

Energy-from-waste: democratic processes need a chance to operate at a local level

12th March 2013 Posted by

Listening to the recent panel response on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions, elicited a ray of hope that the public discussion surrounding energy-from-waste is becoming more sophisticated. The question was asked as to whether the proposed waste incinerator at Javelin Park in Gloucestershire was “a blot on the landscape or a necessary step towards an ecologically sustainable environment”. The panel

Refuse derived fuel exports

1st March 2013 Posted by

The announcement that exports from the UK of refuse derived fuel (RDF) – fuel made from residual municipal and commercial waste – rose sharply in 2012 to 892,000 tonnes is no surprise to the waste management industry. For almost two decades the sector has fought for recognition by policymakers of the huge contribution energy-from-waste (EfW) can make towards meeting the

Don’t be caught out by Brussels for a second time

22nd February 2013 Posted by

Waste-watchers in the UK would do well to keep a weather eye on policy developments at the European Commission. 2013 marks the review of targets contained in a Directive that has single-handedly changed the face of waste management in the UK – the Landfill Directive. The UK was unprepared for the Directive when it came into force in 2002, scrambling

England’s food waste policy – what is it?

18th February 2013 Posted by

Following a House of Lords debate on 12 February, Defra announced that the Government in England would introduce a ban on food waste into landfill only if the measure was “affordable” to businesses. Meanwhile, Scotland has introduced a landfill ban on food waste through the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012. Wales, while not formally instituting a landfill ban, are nevertheless well

The proposed MRF Regulations

11th February 2013 Posted by

On 01 February 2013 Defra launched a Consultation on the draft Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) Regulations, which are designed to control and monitor recyclate output quality.  Already, opposing camps are sharpening their arguments. The waste management sector has welcomed the proposals, which are based on a voluntary scheme running since 2007, while reprocessors and recyclers want a tougher inspection regime

The real game changer

1st February 2013 Posted by

Recent news of Ellen MacArthur’s presence at the World Economic Forum in Davos to recruit “100 CEOs into joining forces with her to take the circular economy to scale” is to be welcomed. The concept of the circular economy is not new. China adopted a Circular Economy Law as the basis for its national economic planning back in 2008, while

Focus on in-demand skills should result in top marks

28th January 2013 Posted by

The news that schools are abandoning vocational training courses that do not contribute to their GCSE performance ranking has been greeted with dismay by commentators. The move follows the decision by the Department for Education to reduce from 3,100 to 70 (125 in 2014) the number of vocational qualifications that would count as equivalent to mainstream core subjects, in the

Degrees of separation … quality is the key

25th January 2013 Posted by

Councils and private sector waste management service providers are watching anxiously as the row over whether they should be compelled to collect recyclates separately will be tested in the Courts in late February.  The Waste Directive says that Councils must introduce ‘separate’ collections for paper, metal, glass and plastics by 2015.  The question is whether this literally means collecting these

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