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A look back at the news in 2013 - September and October

In a dramatic couple of months, Lord de Mauley lost his resources brief at Defra and was replaced by Dan Rogerson.

But as de Mauley kept oversight of ‘major projects’, he signed a letter to Norfolk County Council which outlined the decision to withdraw PFI funding for its energy-from-waste plant near King’s Lynn.

4 September

Resource efficiency fund outperforms benchmark

An investment fund that backs resource efficient companies has consistently outperformed a traditional benchmark, figures have revealed.

The MoRE World Resource Efficiency Fund was launched in August 2011 by London-based Osmosis Investment Management. The fund size is currently around $120m (£77m).

The fund invests in the stocks of resource efficient companies around the world, including L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble. Gerrit Heyns, chief executive at Osmosis Investment Management, told MRW the fund is the first to use a quantative method to select resource efficient companies.


18 September

Defra: Separate glass collections ‘probably necessary’

It will most likely be necessary for local authorities to collect glass separately from other materials from 2015, a senior Defra official has told MRW.

Colin Church, Defra’s director of resource, atmosphere and sustainability, speaking exclusively to MRW, said: “I have yet to see a technology that means you can commingly collect paper, plastic and glass and then separate them out to a good level of quality. You can get good glass or you can get good paper from that kind of process, on balance.”


26 September

Defra considers stricter organics recycling requirements

Defra is considering raising the standard of what constitutes organics recycling, which could affect whether the UK reaches its 2020 household recycling target of 50%.

Colin Church, Defra’s director of resource, atmosphere and sustainability, speaking exclusively to MRW, said he was weighing up whether organic material should be compliant with the PAS100 standard for compost and PAS110 standard for digestate before it qualifies as recycling.


15 October

Lord de Mauley: Councils need to tackle low quality mixed glass

Resource minister Lord de Mauley has urged councils in England and Wales to actively address issues around low quality glass from commingled collections before the amended Waste Regulations come into force in 2015.

De Mauley wrote to the Local Government Association, National Association for Waste Disposal Officers, Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport and Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee to highlight issues around glass that is not sorted to a high enough standard in some MRFs.


16 October

De Mauley replaced as resource minister by Dan Rogerson

Lord de Mauley has been replaced as resource minister at Defra by the Liberal Democrat MP Dan Rogerson.

Colin Church, director for resource and waste in the department, revealed the move in a series of tweets on Twitter.


18 October

Defra pulls cash from Norfolk EfW project

Norfolk County Council has lost Defra funding for its controversial £500m energy-from-waste plant near King’s Lynn.

A letter to South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, says: “I am writing to let you know that following a review of the WIC [waste infrastructure credits] allocated to the Norfolk County Council residual waste infrastructure project, ministers have decided to withdraw the award of funding to the project.”

The letter was signed by the former resource minister Lord de Mauley and was dated 18 October, three days after he lost the overall waste brief.


25 October

Call to revise glass targets as UK consumes less

The much-awaited report on the amount of glass put onto the UK market prompted proposals for the revision of the business recycling target for the material.

The GlassFlow Report 2012, published on 17 October, suggested that around 2.4 million tonnes of glass were put on the UK market in 2012. The figure is some 300,000 tonnes lower than the amount estimated in the PackFlow 2017 report, a research document on which glass recycling targets for obligated UK producers are set.


28 October

BIR chief Bjorn Grufman warns over protectionism in metal markets

The head of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) has spoken of the global scrap industry’s struggle “to make a living” and warned that protectionism threatened “free and fair” trade between its members.

BIR president Bjorn Grufman, speaking as 730 delegates were gathering at the organisation’s Autumn convention in Warsaw, said ferrous and non-ferrous traders alike were suffering difficult markets.

“We are fighting to make a living,” he said. “Consumers are also having a tough time.”

MRW cover September

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