Presidential Podcast: Episode 2: Waste as a Utility

The CIWM Presidential Team are often seen individually on the seminar circuit and at CIWM Centre events, but rarely do they come together as a group to debate and discuss their views on important topics. Our new Presidential Podcast provides a unique opportunity to get to know our Presidential Team and hear what they have to say on a variety of topical issues, approached from a range of diverse backgrounds and experiences. In a series of four episodes, they will discuss a variety of topics, exploring the future needs of the sector and how the sector can progress and influence the environmental agenda.

Host: Claire Poole, Professional Development Manager at CIWM

Presidential Team:

  • Trevor Nicoll, President
  • Enda Kiernan, Immediate Past President
  • Dr Adam Read, Senior Vice President
  • Dr Anna Willetts, Junior Vice President
  • Dan Cooke, Junior Vice President Elect

Join in the conversation, add your comments and ask your questions on Connect.

Episode 2: Waste as a utility

If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything it is about appreciating what we have and not taking it for granted. This includes our waste management collections and treatment industry. Here in the UK and Ireland we saw householders appreciating their bin crews up and down the country, leaving messages, treats and bin collection day became an exciting highlight of the week.

But does the waste and resource sector get the deal it deserves? In the UK we are all used to paying directly for our utilities but our waste is paid for through council tax and the small amount that goes towards the collecting and managing of household waste takes many by surprise. In Ireland, however there is no flat fee for charging for bin collections and prices can vary within areas.  Recently it was reported that ‘bin charges are becoming a bit like mobile phone plans!’   

So what do we mean by utility? The term can refer to the set of services provided by various organizations that are used in everyday life by the public, such as: electricity generation, electricity supplies, natural gas supplies, water supplies, sewage systems and maybe even broadband internet services.

Therefore on the face of it we should ask the question – should waste and recycling be regarded as a utility?

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