Saturday, 23 February 2013

Quick fire rant!

Today is really cold here!

So I've had a trip out and got back to a nice tea and warmed up. The TV is dire, so it's a great time time for a rant! No long winded diatribe on a single issue, a quick fire, what's in my head instead!!

Let's go nuclear for a minute, if you've read any of my other posts, you will know that I'm not keen. Not without goof reason I would say, especially as they are catching tuna off the West Coast of the US with high levels of radiation, two years after the event!!

And what a bout the power plant in Washington? seems they are losing irradiated cooling fluid from the bottom of the storage tanks!!!! Let's face it, if your car was dropping oil in this day and age, you wouldn't be happy!!

What about our AAA rating here in the UK? Capt. clueless is sailing our economy up iceberg alley for an ideological laugh, oooh I nearly wet myself!!!! When he gets to the top end, does he expect his doting tax payers to buy him a new paddle? By the end of his term, our debt could be 1.3 trillion, which would be significantly more than he inherited from the last administration!!!

Last, but by no means least, scientists have announced that we could be on the brink of a tipping point for the melting of the permafrost. They say that a rise in average temperatures of 1.5 degrees could be enough to start a runaway process that could release millions upon millions of tonnes of methane every year. It is unlikely that in such circumstances that we would any longer, be masters of our own destiny!!

Well I feel better for that, but I haven't worked out quite exactly what I want to can do about it all. Together, we might be able to shout loud enough to get heard, that would be a start!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Where's my Waste Hierarchy?

Recently there has been quite a bit of discussion around the Waste Hierarchy, introduced into UK statute following transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive.

People are starting to question how it might be properly implemented and enforced, quite reasonable questions, I would say!

Currently it seems to be struggling for recognition, for the important element of regulation that it is. The Waste Hierarchy is a mainstay of the prime objectives of the Environmental Action Plan and for sustainability in the waste and resource management sector.

There are a number of reasons for this, not least that the Waste Hierarchy is seen as being self regulating, however a lesson learnt from a very similar roll out of the Duty of Care over 20 years ago, informs us that this wasn't entirely successful!

There are also a number of other reasons why it been difficult to implement, I have outlined some of these below. The solutions to these are not particularly simple, but could be tackled with a proper strategy and some resource.

Briefly these area:
  • Current behaviours in C & I waste collection, whereby the contractors take on all the responsibility (or maybe not). This is mainly why the tick box exists on the DoC WTN.
  • Lack of clear policy on waste planning. In turn this leads to lack of, or inappropriate investment in handling and treatment technologies. Most of the money is currently following EfW because of the potential for ROC's/RHI, this conflicts with the Waste Hierarchy to some extent.
  • Slow drafting and implementation of End of Waste criteria is hampering the the quality assurance that is needed to underpin recyclate markets. Volatility leads to more waste being exported (often illegally), incinerated or landfilled.
  • Similar (or better) incentives need to be put in place to encourage re-use.
  • Waste reduction, and avoidance needs clear policy leads and should sit with one department and have a much higher profile than it has currently
All companies with Environmental Management Systems should now be looking at how they can comply with the requirements of the Waste Hierarchy and it should become a regular feature of CSR reporting, that would be a start!