UK business briefs: Welsh recycling up, UK wave power, Kitchen waste collection, Climate change theatre, Christmas mail train

Figures released today show a dramatic increase in recycling and composting in Wales, Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside Carwyn Jones said this week. The proportion of municipal waste being recycled or composted has risen from 12.7% in 2002-03 to 17.6% in 2003-04, excluding abandoned vehicles. Carwyn Jones said: "This is excellent news and confirms my belief that we are successfully changing the way we deal with our rubbish in Wales."

The UK’s renewables industry has announced it wants to lead the hydro and wave-powered energy market. Wave and tidal stream machines are the latest exploratory technology in the global effort to find alternative energy sources to greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels and soaring energy prices. Portugal, Japan, the US, Australia and South Africa are also among the countries that want to pool energy from the natural flow of the ocean. But the world’s wave industry is still small, with most industry attention currently focussed on developing PV and wind power. Britain aims to develop hydro-generated power commercially at first, later exporting the technology to the renewables industry overseas.

West London Composting (WLC), the UK’s first recycling centre modeled on advanced European standards, has signed an agreement with the London Borough of Harrow to process daily deliveries, of green and household kitchen waste including cardboard from the borough’s kerbside collections. Designed to support Harrow Council’s kitchen recycling trial in conjunction with selected households, WLC will compost kitchen scraps including fruit, vegetables, meat and bones together with green waste in a bid to help reach government recycling targets, increasing the amount of waste recycled to 25% by 2005-2006.

Contemporary interactive theatre and environmental science are brought together at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre in a compelling live performance exploring the threat of global warming on developing nations on Tuesday 2 November 2004. A unique collaboration with the award-winning Arc Theatre Group, who use theatre to ignite change, Catching Up With Our Climate: Waiting for Change explores some of the more radical solutions for combating global warming, through the story of four commuters stranded at a railway station en-route to a climate change conference.

And finally, Friends of the Earth has been celebrating the news that mail trains, axed by Royal Mail back in June this year, are to return in time to deal with the Christmas post rush. Royal Mail has signed a trial contract with GB Railfreight to run four daily rail services between London and Scotland during December. Two of the daily trains will continue until March 2005, when Royal Mail will assess whether they should extend the contract.

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