Letter from the Editor: waste and water – the two fundamentals of life

This week in edie news, waste has reared its ugly – and yet potentially useful – head. Luxembourg and the European Commission have asked, when does waste become something more than a smelly nuisance? Cement kilns might know the answer, with their need for cheap and abundant fuel, but the European Court of Justice has yet to decide.

Waste being disposed of to landfill certainly appears to be a nuisance for some European countries. Greece and Spain, in particular, have been having problems, with both countries receiving public complaints about 10 landfill sites.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) is determined that waste shouldn’t become any more of a problem in Shetland – and to this effect has announced that it will be carrying out spot checks on commercial vehicles carrying waste throughout October. Inspections are also being stepped up by the Environment Agency in England and Wales with regard to the management of contaminated land – a theme close to edie’s heart this week as we launch our Contaminated land feature.

Back to problems, however, and in the US, it appears that one of the country’s biggest challenges is with its water infrastructure. Over the next two decades the world’s richest nation will be facing a US$535 billion shortfall in funding for its water and drinking water systems. The question is, where should the funding come from?

And finally, some good news. Rivers in England and Wales are even less polluted than they were last year, when the Environment Agency claimed that they were cleaner than they had ever been since before the Industrial Revolution.

Kind regards

Helen André


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