19 Feb

Serco Report reveals recycling incentives effectiveness

Date : 19 February 2014

We welcome the recent Serco published new research investigating the impact of recycling incentives.  Serco commissioned Eunomia Research & Consultancy to explore the effect of incentives and reward schemes on recycling rates in over 30 boroughs across the UK with encouraging results.

The study shows that authorities with recycling incentives schemes recorded an average 8% increase in recycling which led to a 4% reduction in landfill. 25% of residents said that recycling incentives encourage them to recycle more.

This is the first time that the performance of recycling incentives has been examined by industry professionals and experts.  As a waste collection services partner, Serco  supports incentives and rewards to increase recycling rates.

We welcome this new research which provides important information in relation to both the costs and impacts of incentive schemes enabling local authorities to make better decisions about their recycling budgets in the future.

You can read the report in the resources menu tab.

12 Feb

Trailer Trash hits home!

We love watching videos, especially those that teach us something. So we’re delighted to see a new ‘trailer’ released by The European Commission through their generationawake.eu website. The new mini film promotes the message of viewing waste as a resource. It’s part of its environmental initiative – Generation Awake.

The film takes the form of a hollywood style movie trailer for ‘The Awakeners’ in which waste bin Richard Rubbish ‘suffers disrespect, until one day, he stood up’ and is helped by shopping bags Impulse Inga, Chubby Charlie and Routine Robbie. Viewers are then told to ‘join “The Awakeners” by visiting generationawake.eu and turning their trash into a resource.’ The site has all the household waste elements familiar to us all and the cartoon style is both pleasing and easy to navigate for kids.

The Generation Awake campaign has been going since 2011 and focuses on raising awareness about resource efficiency and the circular economy. Enjoy!

08 Feb

The power of Less – Landfill costs rise 11%

the power of less

The Power of  LESS.

the power of less

The power of less,in your Espresso.

UK Landfill tax goes up 11% to £80 per tonne on April 1st 2014. Will this drive consumers and businesses to generate LESS waste? or will it be merely be factored into costs? And what’s it got to do with an Espresso Coffee ? or the power of less?

The UK Landfill Tax was brought into existence on October 1 1996 which saw councils charge a tax of £8 per tonne of material dumped in landfill. This is in addition to the gate fee charged by the the landfill operator (range from  £10-30).

This tax has, unsurprisingly, steadily increased over time and currently stands at £72 per tonne in 2013/14 for active waste. This will now rise to £80 per tonne on April 1 2014.

The Landfill Tax, and its escalated increase, is supposed to drive councils, businesses and consumers towards the development of recycling infrastructure by making the landfill disposal, incineration route a more financially unattractive option. The goal is  to help the UK meet its targets under the EU Landfill Directive with which it is struggling.

But will it work? Will costs be merely passed on to the consumer or will we see real progress in waste volume reduction. The Jury’s out yet but lets hope behavior will change and we will all discover the power of doing more with less waste.

So what’s it got to do with Coffee, I hear you ask. Well as you enjoy a quick kick from your morning coffee think about what and Espresso really is.  The Espresso is doing more with less. You get the kick , aroma and taste of the full coffee but in a smaller package. Doing more with less ! Enjoy.

05 Feb

Is Denmark leaving the dark age of Waste burning?

It  might seem unlikely but a recent apparent u-turn on waste management policy in Denmark could be in the offing. It’s all driven by the 2050 EU  goals of Emissions reduction.

Is the Sun setting for Denmark's Incinerators?

Is the Sun setting for Denmark’s Incinerators?

We applaud Denmark’s environment minister Ida Auken who recently announced a new strategy that changes the nation’s priority from incineration to recycling.  Make no mistake about it, this is a monumental shift for Europe’s biggest waste burner. Anyone visiting Denmark notices the Incinerator stacks too frequently and the bottom ash heaps in Copenhagen harbour are ugly indeed.

So why has the  world champion of waste incineration changed course?

Over 50% of Denmark’s household waste is burned at  incinerator plants that convert waste into energy for residential electricity and heat. However, C02 emission levels are exceeding the goals set by the Kyoto Protocol and sources of POPs need to be shut down.  The country aims at becoming independent from fossil fuel by 2050 and this means having to close down all polluting power plants by then, including of course the offending waste-to-energy incinerators.

This will not be an easy task given the extent of Incineration in Denmark today. The perverse economic incentives of Incineration run contrary to waste reduction, reuse and recycling .It also delays new cleaner electricity generation from taking hold, such as the Wind energy sector. Dumping incineration gives a double whammy – reduced Co2, POPs emissions, lower volumes of waste and the bonus – a waste recycling and re-use industry can develop, creating new jobs.

”In Denmark we have been incinerating almost 80 % of our household waste. Even though this has made an important contribution to green energy production, materials and resources have been lost which could otherwise have been recycled. Now, we are going to change this”said Auken.

Auken will drive a pro-recycling strategy that calls for households to sort their waste into several bins rather than sending the majority of it to the incinerator. ‘Recycling should be common sense and come to us naturally,’ the environment minister declared. ‘Danes will have to sort more of their waste. The goal is definitely to recycle more and incinerate less.’

Welcome to the 21 st Century, Denmark! Those dark , smoke filled days will be just a bad charred memory for the next generation of Danes.

The Government strategy is outlined in the published report ‘Denmark without Waste’. October 2013 , which has a tagline of ‘ recycle more – incinerate less’. You can Download the Danish Environment Ministry’s Report to read more.