Resources going to waste due to lack of data
- Pollution & Waste Management
Up to 15 million tonnes of waste a year will go to landfill in the UK and Ireland in 2020 instead of being recovered, according to a new report.
The study from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) blames a potential infrastructure gap, which would preclude the material being used as resource or to generate energy.
CIWM says commercial and industrial (C&I) waste remained the “known unknown” of the waste industry, with existing C&I datasets inadequate for the planning of waste management infrastructure. Better quality data is required to encourage investors to fund sufficient infrastructure, says the report.
“It is clear that available C&I waste data are insufficient to support strong business cases for new facilities. Uncertainties in forecasts of waste feedstocks undermine confidence in planning and financing of additional waste treatment infrastructure,” it states.
The report notes that, although some waste management firms have invested significantly in collecting data, many businesses and local authorities have not.
CIWM looked at projections for commercial and industrial waste arisings in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. It concluded that, by 2020, they would fall overall by just 0.2%.
The institution also found that England is likely to generate more commercial and industrial waste by the end of the decade – rising from 47.9 million tonnes in 2013 to 48.3 million tonnes in 2020.
The Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted Southern Water for thousands of illegal raw sewage discharges that polluted rivers and coastal waters in Kent, resulting in a record £90m fine.
In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
Global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are projected to increase by 4% over the next 10 years, despite the carbon intensity of production declining. That is according to a new report from the UN food agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which forecasts that 80% of the increase will come from livestock.
Half of consumers worldwide now consider the sustainability of food and drink itself, not just its packaging, when buying, a survey of 14,000 shoppers across 18 countries has discovered. This suggests that their understanding of sustainability is evolving to include wellbeing and nutrition, with sustainable packaging now considered standard.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
New jobs that help drive the UK towards net-zero emissions are set to offer salaries that are almost one-third higher than those in carbon-intensive industries, research suggests.