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Preserving a vital global resource

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by JULIAN MORGAN, commercial director of Bioganix Plc

Composting provides a solution to some of the major issues that society is grappling with in many parts of the world today.

The degradation of soils through loss of structure and nutrients has a major impact on man’s ability to produce food. Between 1980 and 1995, approximately 18% of the organic matter present in arable topsoils in the UK has been lost (Defra Soil Factsheet). The UK is not alone in suffering a significant reduction in soil organic matter; in many parts of the world where soils are naturally more fragile than in the UK the situation is much worse.


Compost industry is young but growing rapidly

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By PERCY FOSTER, executive administrator of Cré – the Composting Association of Ireland

Though the Irish composting industry is young it has grown rapidly in only a few years. In 2006 there were 37 facilities in operation: 13 of them processed 71,000 tonnes of green waste; 15 were bio waste facilities and processed 52,000 tonnes; and five were sewage sludge processors, dealing with 33,000 tonnes.

Besides composting sites charging gate fees per tonne of biodegradable materials processed as a source of income, another lucrative source of income is the sale of compost products.


Ireland’s other ‘Forty Shades of Green’

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By KAREN-ANNE COLE, of Enterprise Ireland

Singer-song writer Johnny Cash was so smitten with the Emerald Isle that he wrote an album in celebration of its attractions, including the song ‘Forty Shades of Green’.

This feature spotlights the ‘green’ environmental aspirations of The Celtic Tiger, and includes (on page 27) a report on why environmental professionals will need to review changes in water and waste management, and (on page 28) a review of Ireland’s burgeoning composting industry.


Why trucks can help to green Britain

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by TONY PAIN, marketing director, DAF Trucks Ltd

There is an environmental efficiency case for clearing Britain’s railways of their remaining freight traffic (accounting for less than 5% of all goods moved in the UK anyway) and transferring it to large, 44-tonne trucks on free flowing roads.

The resulting space on the rails should be filled by faster and more frequent passengercarrying trains as part of a co-ordinated strategy to get people out of their private cars and on to public transport.


Bring it back home, and get it right

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Looking back at the development of plastics recycling in the UK over the past decade we see, on the face of it, a fairly continuous increase in recycling levels, albeit from a very low base.

That picture of progress, while being very positive, hides however a number of key issues which, if not addressed, will impact on our industry for years to come and come back to haunt government, both local and national.