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Local campaigning on waste
1. Introduction
I. Who works on waste, and why?
II. Waste in the UK – national FoEcus
2. Sustainable waste management
3. A new government, and new context
4. What we can do?
I. Split and discuss: Positives and
Consumption is increasing...
Global resource use is decoupled from GDP growth – but is still going up [1]
Why is resource use
• The foundation of our economy
• Resource extraction (and disposal) leads
to major environmental and social impacts
• Huge inequality in resource consumption
• Only one earth, ... Climate change,
biodiversity, rights,resource wars...
• Yet the UK buries or burns over £650
million recyclable material every year [2]?
The waste hierarchy...
• The top of the hierarchy is good:
I) Prevention
II) Reuse
III) Recycling, Composting/AD
• Bottom is bad:
I) Incineration
II) Landfill (unless ...)
The UK Context
1) The good stuff:
• Prevention
– We need to create plans and set targets
– Recycling (visibility) boosts prevention
• Reuse
– Landfill diversion, cheap furniture, electricals etc, jobs
• Recycling
– Kerbside sorting; civic amenity/bring sites; wide range
– Use high quality MBT to maximise recycling
• Anaerobic Digestion food waste etc
– 100% renewable energy, plus soil conditioner
– In High quality MBT, or composting, before landfilling
2) The not so good...
• All the above are good for climate, resource efficiency,
biodiversity, rights, jobs, ...
• Incineration
Is bad for climate – 1/3 less carbon efficient than modern gas
Very expensive, with long contracts binding councils
Inflexible, and competes with reuse, recycling, AD
1/10 jobs of recycling
• Landfill
– Also bad for climate, unless after high quality MBT
– Less bad for climate than incineration if treated
– Phasing out anyway
3) The context
• New government:
Pro AD and less enthusiastic (?) about incineration
Claims to be the greenest ever
Claims wants to match European recycling rates
Anti targets, anti duties on councils, anti legislation,
Pro “voluntary measures”, including “rewards” e.g. Recyclebank
Austerity: good (cuts to bad PFI schemes) or bad (other
• Waste review
– Announced June, initial ‘results’ spring ‘11
– But already said ‘minded’ not to ban landfilling recyclables
“Overconsumption? Our use of the world’s natural resources”, Friends of the Earth Europe/Sustainable
Europe Research Institute, September 2009:
“Gone to waste: the valuable resources that European countries bury and burn”, Friends of the Earth,
October 2009:
4) What can we do ....?
over to you!
Group discussions,
Followed by report back