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The ironic compatibility of recycling practice and UK government policy

Entwistle, Thomas Walter 1998. The ironic compatibility of recycling practice and UK government policy. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 3 (1) , pp. 55-65. 10.1080/13549839808725544

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On the face of it, the 1990s have marked the transformation of the UK's waste management policy. A commitment to waste minimisation and recycling, within the terms of the internationally accepted waste hierarchy, have replaced an almost complacent defence of landfill. However, aside from the dramatic transformation of the vocabulary, the reality of local authority waste disposal has, with a few notable exceptions, been characterised more by continuity than revolution. This article suggests that the modesty of local authority recycling is best explained through an appreciation of what can be described as recycling practice. Recycling in the UK has taken a distinctive form comprising: environmentalism, entrepreneurialism and policy advocacy. The components of this practice explain both the successes and failures of local authority recycling. Despite its oppositional roots, the Conservative Government found ‘recycling practice’ conducive to their reliance upon a mix of aspirational targets and market‐based instruments (MBIs). Advice circulated as guidance to local authorities emphasised viability as the principal criterion of scheme assessment and in such a way sustained the limited scale and ambitions of recycling practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1354-9839
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:39

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