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Wednesday, 13 June 2012 00:00

D-Waste participated in the ISWA Beacon Conference – Waste Prevention & Recycling in Vienna

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From 31st May to 1st June 2012, Vienna received the ISWA Beacon Conference “Waste Prevention & Recycling”, an important event dedicated to professionals who want to improve their knowledge on waste prevention & recycling issues. The conference was organized by ÖWAV and ISWA and counted 78 active participants, 18 presentations and a technical study tour.

D-Waste was there participating actively with two D-Waste authors – Ana Loureiro and Costas Velis.

Ana Loureiro, Communication Director of Valorsul, presented “Communication 3R – Responsible, Rational, Relevant”. Ms Loureiro introduced communication as an important tool to establish sustainable waste management. As she stated “If people are the ones responsible for the existence of the waste itself, communicating properly with them is crucial” She also presented  the Valorsul Prevention Program, which includes internal and external activities developed in the company intervention area, (19 municipalities with1.6 million people that represents 16% of the municipal solid waste produced in Portugal)

Costas Velis, who  recently moved to the University of Leeds, after many years in Imperial College of London, presented a systematic approach for analyzing  and evaluating inclusion/integration solutions for the waste pickers. His approach is based on the recent work of the ISWA Globalisation and Waste Management (GWM) Task Force which, besides other aspects, investigates and addresses issues around informal sector waste management activities. One of the main outcomes of this Task Force is that informal sector recyclers must not be ignored by both the municipalities and the waste management industry, instead they have to be faced as a global recycling partner. 

This is a powerful idea that should be spread worldwide to all decision makers, in order to achieve a more rational and human approach and to create better conditions for all people working with waste daily.

Other relevant presentations

Although all presentations were of high status there were some presentations that captured the audience attention due to their innovative or even polemic character.

A very interesting presentation was the case of Peter Börkey from OECD, who defended the need to align the formal and informal sectors regarding WEEE and establish partnerships with the Governments and the municipal institutions. 

Walter Hauer showed the significant contribution of Waste to Energy facilities to Recycling as a conceptual approach to improve integrated waste management,; and Hubert Reisinger from the Environment Agency of Austria presented a EU food waste prevention project, with data from  several European countries. Mr Huber recommended specific measures and guidelines on the preparation of food waste prevention programs.

Katharina Kummer Peiry from UNEP, defended that the concept of turning wastes into valuable resources or energy should become a pilot area for greening the economy in a cost effective manner.

Henning Witls presented an interesting case study from Germany, where specific measures to enhance waste prevention were taken. He also presented some conclusions for the conception of prevention programs as planning instruments, their potentials and limitations;

Willi Haas presented a study to better understand how to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, and how it isnecessary to change the pathway of our society.


Regarding EPR – Extender Producers Responsibility, William Vermeir stated that in order to improve it with transparency, understandability, commitment, market coverage, reliability, efficiency, effectiveness and  high performance in all over Europe, we should all support the EU to take measures for better guidance; Katia Lasaridi presented a Greek example and Naojo Tojo made clear the connection between EPR and waste prevention.

As for communication, it was clear for everyone the importance to develop environmental communication in a professional way. A good example from The Netherlands was presented by Michiel Westerhoff.

The subject of the last panel was about planned obsolescence. Mr Tim Cooper made a compelling presentation about “Policies and practices to get away from premature obsolescence”. As he stated “ Recycling is the best excuse to instant obsolescence””

Finally, Andreas Bart made an interesting presentation providing some historical context and Benoît Desmarchelier gave the angle of economic growth by waste generation.

Read 10136 times Last modified on Saturday, 14 July 2012 10:51

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