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Environmental issues

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

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

Weekly argument is beginning to get tiring

15th January 2013 Posted by

Given the parlous state of the economy one would imagine there were more important things for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to worry about, but elevating the seemingly innocuous weekly bin collection to the exalted status of a “fundamental” (or “basic” or even “human”, depending on the passion of the moment) right has meant that the issue

Creating, not wasting social value

2nd November 2012 Posted by

Does it really require the intervention of Parliament, through its new Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, for us to introduce more public services that provide a wider social benefit? As spending has been squeezed over the past few years I have witnessed just how much support from Local Government to the ‘third sector’ has been cut. If this trend

Will we ever square the circle?

29th June 2012 Posted by

I had the pleasure of participating in the Chartered Institute of Waste Management’s annual conference in London recently and was very encouraged by the consensus of opinion about the future direction our industry should take. Everyone agreed that if the UK embraces the circular economy model, this would be the catalyst for behavioural change and would lead to tangible environmental

Dirty Britain – ‘The unsung heroes’

28th May 2012 Posted by

Watching Dirty Britain on ITV1 during the last couple of weeks really opens your eyes to Britain’s unsung heroes and another world of filth and grime which we – the public – generate, yet are often happy to ignore. What struck me was the professionalism and dedication of all those featured, especially those who carry out the most stomach-churning of

From ‘throw away’ to the green way!

23rd April 2012 Posted by

It’s now widely accepted that a sustainable future is only achievable if we change our ways from a ‘throw away’ culture to one which recognises and extracts the value from the resources we consume. When I look at the waste management industry, I see only the enormous potential it has to help the UK, particularly in terms of renewable energy.

Is recycling a duty and not a choice?

30th January 2012 Posted by

For those who watched the new BBC series Toughest place to be a bin man, you could not escape the irony of the slogan proudly painted on the side of the Hammersmith and Fulham Council refuse collection vehicle. It stated, ‘Recycling is a duty not a choice’. Well yes, perhaps it is in the cosseted world of central London. However,

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