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Will Defra’s new Resources and Waste Strategy deliver the ‘circular economy’?

talking local government

Release Date: 01/31/2019

Public services are ahead of business when it comes to service design show art Public services are ahead of business when it comes to service design

talking local government

Professor Clive Grinyer, head of service design at the Royal College of Art talks about collaborations with Cabinet Office, Ministry of Justice and local authorities

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Councils need to beware of fraud as they distribute £30bn to SMEs says Cifas show art Councils need to beware of fraud as they distribute £30bn to SMEs says Cifas

talking local government

The organisation behind the national Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy sets out threats and counter measures

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Covid-19 turns waste collection upside down prompting innovative response show art Covid-19 turns waste collection upside down prompting innovative response

talking local government

Businesses made idle by closure of commercial premises are being enabled to support hard-pressed domestic collections  

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World Wide Waste 3/3: our digital consumption is out of control show art World Wide Waste 3/3: our digital consumption is out of control

talking local government

This third programme based on Gerry McGovern's new book looks at the damage done by the digital mindset (more, cheap, now, throwaway, ‘free’)

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Coronavirus impact on care sector follows years of low status and neglect show art Coronavirus impact on care sector follows years of low status and neglect

talking local government

Karolina Gerlich of the Care Workers Charity describes current pressures on care workers but their roots lie in years of failure to resolve the sector’s status and funding.

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World Wide Waste 2/3: business is squandering digital’s green potential show art World Wide Waste 2/3: business is squandering digital’s green potential

talking local government

The second programme based on Gerry McGovern's new book looks at corporate IT and digital practices that accelerate environmental damage

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World Wide Waste 1/3: doing stuff online is good for the environment - right? show art World Wide Waste 1/3: doing stuff online is good for the environment - right?

talking local government

Gerry McGovern is a globally-recognised web usability expert whose new book sets out the devastation wrought by our over-consumption of all things digital.

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Online self-assessment for local authority social care support in prospect by Autumn show art Online self-assessment for local authority social care support in prospect by Autumn

talking local government

Councils could soon have access to an online tool for residents to self-assess their social care needs without face-to-face intervention from an officer.

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Undergrad to digital care entrepreneur: how a grandfather’s diagnosis inspired development of home monitoring hub show art Undergrad to digital care entrepreneur: how a grandfather’s diagnosis inspired development of home monitoring hub

talking local government

At around the time Alex Nash was looking for a final year project for his engineering degree at Loughborough University, his grandfather was diagnosed with Dementia. ‘The technology available to him was old, and analogue, and didn’t provide any reassurance to the family that he was OK’ says Alex, nearly five years on. With his degree completed and a fledgling product under his belt, Alex got funding from Innovate UK and matched this with funds from angel investors. Alcuris is now poised to start delivering Memo to local authority customers. As he explains in this programme, the product...

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The ‘tech’ of data sharing is easy: getting agreement between different parties in the system is the hard bit show art The ‘tech’ of data sharing is easy: getting agreement between different parties in the system is the hard bit

talking local government

Helena Zaum describes work by Microsoft and other partners to support Manchester City Council’s vision of tech-enabled care within an integrated system

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As awareness grows of the environmental, even existential, consequences of our take/make/use/throw approach to resources, minds are focusing on the benefits of a ‘circular economy’ in which materials and manufactured goods are routinely recycled and re-used, and not just once.

Our panel members welcome the Strategy, but don’t underestimate the massive challenges it represents, including the 65% recycling targets set for local authorities. While some councils have already made changes that will help them meet new demands, others are less well prepared.

One feature of the Strategy that comes in for much discussion is the focus on the design of products and packaging. Its been suggested that up to 80% of the environmental impact of a product or its packaging is determined at design stage. And yet as our panel point out, there is at present little dialogue between designers and the waste management industry.

Incentivising on the one hand manufacturers and retailers (producer pays), and on the other, consumers (deposit and return schemes), to change behaviours is discussed. So too, inevitably, is the question ‘exactly which recyclying bin does this wrapper go in?’

Waste professionals they may be but our panel ‘fess up to being as confused as the rest of us with some of the materials passing through their shopping baskets and fridges into the bins.