The Ecologist

 
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Waste and Recycling

Love Food Hate Waste: could you live without throwing food away?

Madeleine Cuff

30th March, 2012

Man tipping vegetables into container. Consumers & supermarkets need to tackle food waste Madeleine Cuff challenged herself to spend a week reducing her food and packaging waste. Did it work, and will other consumers and supermarkets take note? more...

San Francisco's scavengers: a story of gangs, poverty and recycling

Felicity Carus

16th August, 2011

Scavenger carrying waste Scavenging is on the rise in the US and is no longer the exclusive domain of the poor. Felicity Carus reports on San Francisco's attempts to close down this informal sector and its impact on a burgeoning recycling culture more...

Charities suffer as criminal gangs target lucrative clothing recycling sector

Louise Hunt

1st February, 2011

Charities, including Oxfam and Traid, which rely on donations of unwanted clothes are facing an escalating theft problem - which could undermine public confidence in recycling and increase clothing waste, reports Louise Hunt more...

ASDA and Marks & Spencer lead assault on packaging waste crisis - but will it work?

Aimee Steen

9th November, 2010

As UK supermarkets scramble to reduce packaging in the face of growing legislation and consumer demand, Aimee Steen talks exclusively to those tackling the problem at high street stores and asks what role customers have to play more...

Revealed: scandal of Roma people forced to scavenge toxic e-waste

Carolyn Lebel

12th October, 2010

In the wake of President Sarkozy's crackdown on the Roma people, an Ecologist investigation uncovers how poverty and discrimination are forcing persecuted communities to scratch a living recycling France's growing mountain of e-waste - potentially threatening health and raising questions over the effectiveness of waste policies

more...

Can a landfill site ever return to nature?

Nick Kimbrell

6th July, 2010

A gas gauge in a meadow in FreshKills park One of the biggest landfill sites in the US is in the process of becoming a nature reserve and a recreation ground. Is this just papering over the cracks, or can our rubbish heaps really turn into something beautiful? more...

The Living Machine: an ecological approach to poo

Tafline Laylin

8th June, 2010

Findhorn's Living Machine By mimicking the purifying behaviour of wetland ecosystems we can deal with our sewage using one quarter of the energy, and a fraction of the smell... more...

The new green face of incineration technology

Mark Jansen

18th May, 2010

Peterborough Renewable Energy Park (artist's impression) Incineration is a dirty word amongst environmentalists, its reputation earned through the use of outdated technology. Could new techniques help bring green approval to energy-from-waste facilities? more...

'Just throw it out' - Council advice on toxic lightbulbs

Ian Randall

9th March, 2010

Broken energy saving lightbulb An Ecologist investigation reveals that three quarters of London Boroughs are advising their residents to simply throw compact fluorescent lightbulbs in their general waste, despite the hazard posed by their mercury content more...

How we poison Bangladesh with toxic ship carcasses

Andrew Hickman

23rd February, 2010

Ship being demolished Workers are dying in Bangladesh’s shipyards because the west's shipping industry - including UK companies - is not taking responsibility for the disposal of ageing vessels more...

How green are tetrapak food cartons?

Emilie Filou

19th January, 2010

Tetrapak cartons They're becoming more and more common - wrapped around everything from milk to chickpeas. But just how environmentally friendly are composite cartons compared to the good, old-fashioned tin or jar? more...

Biogas: is your council about to waste your waste?

David Strahan

4th August, 2009

Food waste: valuable stuff Biogas - a methane-rich fuel made from rotting food waste or sewage - has huge potential as a clean, green fuel for the UK. But a perverse web of subsidies, rules and contracts could mean UK councils are about to kiss goodbye to the real power of waste... more...

Visionaries: William McDonough

Ecologist

1st April 2009

Visionary_William_McDonough William McDonough highlights the wastefulness and environmental impacts of modern design and manufacturing and proposes a whole rethink of the process.
more...

How to make your town plastic-free

Sylvia Rowley

15th April, 2009

Investigates_68.jpg Sylvia Rowley examines Rebecca Hosking's tips to rid your town of plastic bags more...

Waste management proves a profitable business

Martin O'Brien

7th August, 2008

Investigates_47.jpg Martin O'Brien investigates how waste management has become a lucrative business. more...

Landfill-on-sea

Daisy Dumas

7th February, 2008

pacificgarbagelg.jpg Plastic rubbish gets tossed away in far-off places that we rarely get to see. Daisy Dumas assesses its impact on the world's largest floating landfill. more...

Incinerators: the lethal consequences of breathing fire

Pat Thomas

6th September, 2007

Investigates_36.jpg Despite the best efforts of the industry to rebrand and clean up incineration, the fact remains that today's incinerators still permit pollution. more...

Radley Lakes public inquiry, 20th - 22nd June

Lynda Pasquire

12th July, 2007

Investigates_49.jpg The continuing story of one community's struggle against nPower who are still planning to fill Thrupp lake with ash from their Didcot coal-fired power station.
more...

The perils of plastic amnesia

Matthew Carmichael

1st November, 2006

Plastic Bag Convenient, flimsy, costly, cynical, manipulative, wasteful, deadly...we'll never forget the plastic bag more...

Bin your bin

Jon Hughes

1st July, 2006

Investigates_13.jpg If you don't want an incinerator near you, you are either going to have to move to a rich neighbourhood or bin your bin... more...

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