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Michael Laiyemo Page 1
Are current waste management strategies sufficient for providing a
solution to the waste management...
Michael Laiyemo Page 2
Introduction
The amount of waste generated by the United Kingdom in a year is about 280million tonn...
Michael Laiyemo Page 3
Waste hierarchy
The diagram below shows the sequence of waste management in a scale of preference.
...
Michael Laiyemo Page 4
(a) The landfill tax regulation 1996: It involves the introduction of levies or taxes for the
weigh...
Michael Laiyemo Page 5
Fig 2 Source: BBC NEWS
According to Defra (2011), about 40% of household waste is currently recycle...
Michael Laiyemo Page 6
The normal belief is if landfill taxes increases, other waste disposal methods will be preferred
to...
Michael Laiyemo Page 7
References
BBC NEWS
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6222288.stm (date accessed 5th December 2011)
Ber...
Michael Laiyemo Page 8
Deutz, P. and Frostick, L.,. 2009. Reconciling policy, practice, and theorisations of waste
managem...
Michael Laiyemo Page 9
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Environmental management course work

  1. 1. Michael Laiyemo Page 1 Are current waste management strategies sufficient for providing a solution to the waste management issues in the UK? SUBMITTED BY MICHAEL A. LAIYEMO 1123956 INSTITUTE OF ENVIRONMENT (IFE), BRUNEL UNIVERSITY. TO DR STEPHEN KERSHAW COURSE TUTOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT IE5509
  2. 2. Michael Laiyemo Page 2 Introduction The amount of waste generated by the United Kingdom in a year is about 280million tonnes and these wastes could impact negatively to the country’s economy and possesses danger to the environment. To ease up the waste issue, the government introduced policies and strategies so that a zero waste economy can be achieved. (Defra 2011). Although, zero waste is not achievable in the near future, but this concept of zero waste targets is a yardstick used to increase the effectiveness of the strategies. (Cossu 2009). In defining waste with reference to the context of this report, the legislative approach must be adopted. In Rostron’s (2008) report on the law and regulation of waste in the United Kingdom, waste was described according to environmental agency’s regulation as “Directive waste” and it was defined as any substance or objects that the manufacturer or keeper wants to discard or intends or is required to discard. The aim of this report is to critically analyse the waste management strategies and indicate if it helps to address the issue of waste impairment in the United Kingdom or suggest credible alternative measures for an efficient waste management goal. This report is based on various literature reviews and supported by visits to west London composting site, and Veolia landfilling site. This report focuses on England, wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland in total because they are the four nations that make up the United Kingdom and are controlled by the same directives on waste. Waste management in the United Kingdom Waste management in the United Kingdom is driven by policies initiated by the government, which goes deep into making researches about a wide range of disciplines like science, technology and the society. (Deutz and Frostick 2009). A general policy for waste regulation was first initiated in 1975 for the E.U. states and U.K. being a member state was obliged to implement the directive. Council Directive 75/442/EEC was set out to regulate waste disposal not at the detriment to human health or the environment. (Rostron 2008). This directive has gone through reviews and amendments a couple of times, (Vehlow et al 2007) but the directive that made a tremendous change in waste management strategies was the introduction of the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC) which adopted the use of the waste hierarchy to improve waste management in the E.U. member states.
  3. 3. Michael Laiyemo Page 3 Waste hierarchy The diagram below shows the sequence of waste management in a scale of preference. Fig 1 The waste hierarchy pyramid diagram above simply implies that in order to manage waste, there should be reduction in the creation of waste by using less material in manufacturing, employing a better manufacturing strategy and by influencing end users in the reduction concept by manipulating the design and packaging of their products to suit the purpose of waste reduction. (Bernan 2008). The next priority stage is reuse, which implies that wastes can either be reused for the same reason it was acquired for or reused for a different purpose. The practises on such wastes could include repairing it if broken, cleaning or total maintenance of the item. (Defra 2011). Going further down the pyramid in preferential sequence, is the recycle stage in which wastes that have lost their original functionality can be used for an entirely different purpose. This process could involve composting if it meets up with the requirement. (Defra 2011). If the state of the waste is beyond the processes described above, then a step further down the pyramid is the recovery stage where some wastes are deemed to be valuable by energy recovery. This can be achieved by processes like anaerobic digestion and incineration. (Phillips et al 2002). And the final stage is disposal of the waste which is the least desirable and landfilling is the adopted method for a safe waste disposal in such instance. In conjunction with the set directives by the European council, the United Kingdom government introduced legislations mostly to encourage recycling, which includes;
  4. 4. Michael Laiyemo Page 4 (a) The landfill tax regulation 1996: It involves the introduction of levies or taxes for the weight of waste landfilled. This regulation was implemented to discourage dependency on using land filling as a means of waste disposal. (Read et al 1997). (b) Waste minimization act 1998: This act empowers local authorities to set out goals to check on the amount of waste produced by every household. This act is not enforced neither is it monitored by councils for effective adherence to the regulation. (North Lincolnshire Council). (c) Animal by-products order and regulations 2003: This law forbids the feeding of livestock with certain wastes and the use of animal by-products for production of pig and poultry feeds. (Defra) (d) Household waste recycling act 2004: This act imposes a general duty on every waste collection authority to arrange for waste to be collected in their area and should involve the collection of two types of recyclable waste and household waste in different compartments, and they could be picked up together or individually. (Blackhall 2005). (e) Local government act 1999-best value regime: This act demands a best value performance from local authorities and these performances are reviewed annually using best value indicators (BVPI) in which waste related matters are included in this measurement of efficiency. (North Lincolnshire Council) Data on recycled waste in UK with comparison with to EU member states. Fernie and Hart (2001), reported that in the European directive (94/62/EC, 1994) on packaging waste set out in 1994, Germany recovered 80% of packaging waste and 65% recovered by the Netherlands. While other European countries implemented this decree in their states in 1997, U.K. did likewise but compared to the target set by E.U. members state U.K. had the lowest recycling rate target of 38% and this figure rose to 52% in 2001. This data was supported by Hill et al (2006) confirming that U.K. recycles 42% of all waste produced compared to San Francisco, Australia and Belgium whose recycling rate is 70% or more. Diagram below shows household waste collected and recycled in the E.U. in 2007.
  5. 5. Michael Laiyemo Page 5 Fig 2 Source: BBC NEWS According to Defra (2011), about 40% of household waste is currently recycled in 2011 compared to 18% in 2007 and 55% of waste produced in the UK is sent to landfill, compared to an EU-27 average of 40%. Discussion A visit to Veolia landfilling site shows that landfilling is still a major practise in UK and the workers justified there practises by estimating the amount of energy generated by the landfill site to be 9.5MW, these amount of energy is not comparable to land contamination, disease spread and over exploitation of natural resources. Landfilling needs to be at a drastic reduction and the best way is by increasing the number of waste recycled. Composting was well demonstrated at the west London composting site, and the site is situated in secluded place to avoid disturbances in a residential neighbourhood. Composting is a considerable method but not should be depended on. Considering Fig 2 above, amongst the 15 European Union countries United Kingdom happens to be within the last 3 in terms of the number of recycled waste in 2007 and its total waste per head is above the average total waste. This is an indication that recycling in the UK is a problem, governing by various factors. According to a report from the House of Commons (2006-07), reprocessing capacity for recycling collected waste in the UK is not enough to carry out the whole task of waste recovery or recycling. Instead UK seriously depends on exporting about 58% of these materials for recycling to meet the increasing domestic demands for recycling. Furthermore, the report discussed the claim by Defra to increase recycle rate to 40% by 2010 in order to divert waste from going to landfills but this increment of recycle rate increases the number of wastes exported for reprocessing.
  6. 6. Michael Laiyemo Page 6 The normal belief is if landfill taxes increases, other waste disposal methods will be preferred to landfilling however it may not be the case if waste taxes are not applied to other waste disposal methods. (Couth et al 2003) In view of the foregoing, the landfill tax increment contributes to recycling problems in the UK because it encourages a diversion towards a method that is cheaper in the waste hierarchy and the method closest to achieving minimal cost of waste disposal is incineration. This makes people stare away from recycling and obviously indulge in the practice of mass burning of waste which could be detrimental to human health. (Hill et al). This reason makes it imperative to introduce taxes for waste that are incinerated. Conclusion The waste hierarchy system is a good strategy to control waste issues in the UK. From data seen, it works in other EU countries by increasing their recycling rate. But strict measures like fines should be strictly enforced to keep in check the excesses of businesses and households that disregard the waste regulations. The need to recycle waste should be emphasized to the public and the basic infrastructure for waste disposal should be available at the convenience of the public.
  7. 7. Michael Laiyemo Page 7 References BBC NEWS http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6222288.stm (date accessed 5th December 2011) Bernan. 2007-2008. Waste reduction volume 1: Report. House of Lords science and technology committee. 6th report of session 2007-08. Blackhall, J.C. 2005. Planning law and practice Third edition. Cossu, R. 2009. Driving forces in national waste management strategies. Waste Management 29. 2797–2798 Couth, R.J., Davies, J.N., and Howe, A. 2003. Landfill Financing and Contracts. Proceedings Sardinia 2003, Ninth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium. Defra 2011. Http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/ (date accessed 3rd December 2011) Defra: The Animal By-Products (Amendments) (England) (Wales) (Scotland) Orders. http://adlib.everysite.co.uk/adlib/defra/content.aspx?id=000IL3890W.184SYM9XVSC3C3 (date accessed 4th December 2011).
  8. 8. Michael Laiyemo Page 8 Deutz, P. and Frostick, L.,. 2009. Reconciling policy, practice, and theorisations of waste management. The Geographical Journal, Vol. 175, No. 4, December 2009, pp. 247–250geo Fernie, J. and Hart, C. 2001. UK packaging waste legislation: Implications for food retailers. British Food Journal, Vol. 103 No. 3, 2001, pp. 187-197. Hill, J., Shaw, B. and Hislop, H. 2006. A Zero Waste UK. Institute for public policy research and green alliance. House of Commons; Refuse collection. Communities and local government committee. Fifth report of session 2006-07 volume ll: written evidence. Pp. 82 North Lincolnshire Council; LEGAL REQUIREMENTS AND PLANNING GUIDANCE www.northlincs.gov.uk/NR/...92B2.../Appendix2Legislation2.pdf (date accessed 4th December 2011). Phillips, P., Clarkson, P. and Barnes, N. 2002. A UK county sustainable waste management program. International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, Vol. 1, No. 1, Read, A., Phillips, P., Murphey, A. 1997. Tax aims to reduce U.K. landfill dependence World Wastes; 40, 7. Abi/Inform Research Pp. 7._33 Rostron, J., 2008. The law and regulation of waste in United Kingdom: A review. Environmental quality management. Pp. 50. Vehlow. J., Bergfeldt, B., Visser, R. and Wilen, C. 2007. European Union waste management strategy and the importance of biogenic Waste. J Mater Cycles Waste Management 9:130– 139.
  9. 9. Michael Laiyemo Page 9

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