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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

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

The Olympic Legacy

24th September 2012 Posted by

Like the rest of Britain I have been basking in the collective glory of, undoubtedly, the most successful Olympic Games ever. Despite intense scrutiny, Britain delivered a complex infrastructure project on time and on budget and in doing so became the envy of the world. From the very outset, the project was given top priority, backed first by Tony Blair

No level playing field = no green growth!

30th July 2012 Posted by

The potential for green growth in the UK is significant as we transform from landfilling the majority of our waste to the more sustainable options of recycling and recovering energy from it. For this change to be realised, around £20 billion needs to be invested over the next ten years in modern technology and infrastructure. If we manage to achieve

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

Zero waste – who’s going to pay?

22nd May 2012 Posted by

With 29 million tonnes of active waste still going to landfill in the UK, the concept of zero waste seems a long way off. Our industry estimates that the cost of transition to a more resource efficient future is between £10 and £20 billion. Any investment in this area relies heavily on the continued landfill tax increases imposed by the

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