Exclusive, up-to-date information for ISWA members from ISWA officials.

Board Members and Working Group Chairs report on their current activities on behalf of  ISWA.

Issue 2 07.03.2013

1. Visit to Belgium

A Report by President David Newman

 

I spent March 6th in Belgium on behalf of ISWA and a very busy day it was.

I began by meeting Francis Veys the Managing Director of the Bureau International of Recycling (BIR) in Brussels, which represents about 850 companies worldwide involved in recycling. Above all these are in the ferrous and non-ferrous metals and paper sectors, but also some trading and recycling plastics, used tyres and other materials (www.bir.org). I visited Mr Veys to enlist his  organisation's involvement in our Global Recycling Markets report which ISWA is working on now and which I hope we can present in Vienna in October. I believe it is important for the positioning of our industry to show what role we have in global markets for secondary raw materials, and how all this links into the collection systems in our cities.


I was then met and kindly transported by Tom De Bruyckere to Antwerp to the offices of ISVAG, the city waste company which is playing the lead role, with the Belgium National Member and the city council, in organising the 2015 ISWA World Congress. We were joined by other colleagues and the Vice Mayor of Antwerp Philip Heylen who is also the Chairman of ISVAG. The story of the company is an excellent lesson in crisis management. The incinerator, closed in 2001 after the dioxins-in- chickens scandal (with which it had no relation) was re-opened and has become a site visited each year by thousands of citizens, children and overseas visitors. Some 25.000 schoolchildren have now visited ISVAG and seen for themselves how modern plants are safe and clean. The region has recycling rates of around 80%, among the highest in the world and has a fine network of treatment facilities.

We discussed also the organisation for 2015 which has already begun, and we suggested many ways forward, involving ISWA members worldwide.   I have no doubt the organisers will be in contact with many National Members and Working Groups over the next months to elaborate the Congress programme.

Finally I had the pleasure and honour to speak in the European Parliament in the afternoon on organic waste collection in Italy, the role of bioplastics and European legislation for the growing bioeconomy. As I have written before, the biobased industries growing worldwide are producing new products which will eventually transform both organic waste recovery and plastic collection systems. These include, but are clearly not limited to, plastic bags, food containers, packaging materials in general as well as certain kinds of chemicals.

The Italian mInister for Environment, Corrado Clini, who was present, confirmed the imminent publication of the Italian Law definitively introducing bans on throw away plastic bags in Italy including the fines for breaking the law. This will give a positive impulse to the whole sector, which in turn, will lead to cleaner and less costly collection systems for organic waste.

It was a very exciting day spent in the heart of Europe and while we all moan about the costs, the bureaucracy and the perceived distance of the European Commission, the Nobel Prize for Peace is a somber reminder of its success.  

 

2. 1st Media & Waste Management Workshop

A Report by Ana Loureiro, Member of the
ISWA Working Group on Communication

 

The reason why waste management companies and environmental journalists gather together to discuss common interests on information and communication was the fact that both need to communicate better with each other and to understand the waste management business.

Valorsul and ISWA – International Solid Waste Association Working Group on Communication promoted a debate session between Portuguese environmental journalists and communication experts from international waste management organizations which allowed gathering contributes from different perspectives and realities. This workshop was held in Lisbon, on the 1st March.

The main goal was to promote a bigger debate, exchange information about problems, solutions and trends of the sector. This is, in fact, one of ISWA’s lines of action for 2013, as Gunilla Carlsson, chair of the Working Group on Communication, referred.

The main purpose of this meeting was to know both the interests and the needs of ‘the other side’, in order to figure out the best ways to transmit relevant messages towards environmental preservation and the defense of community interests. 

It is unanimous that the economical crisis has also an impact not only on the public attention to environmental topics but also on the media coverage of those topics and also on environmental-friendly behaviors.

Therefore, it is necessary to address the new challenges of this context. The topics change and it is mandatory to keep up with the trends. If a while ago the attention was on the problem of dumpsters and on recycling, now a new optic is needed. On one hand, companies address the importance of topic such as the loss of separation habits, new issues on diverting materials of the collecting circuits and food waste. Journalists, on the other hand, draw the attention to topics with an impact on the daily life of citizens, trends, new solutions and updated and relevant statistics.

Media representatives consider it is extremely important for the data to be available for consultation. There are more and more platforms that allow it and they must also be used as tools in order to gain dissemination, awareness and mobilization. More than to overload the media with information, it should be relevant to the type of audience of each media.

On the opening session, João Figueiredo, president of the Executive Commission of Valorsul, underlined the challenge for the future: organizations and media working together towards the success of environmental education and awareness.

In the end, all the participants agreed that this kind of initiatives help engaging better relationships between both parts, promoting better information exchange and overcoming constraints in order to built a better communication of environmental and waste management topics.

 

3. Visit to Greater Manchester, UK

A Report by President David Newman

 

 

I visited Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority’s and Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) Limited’s (VLGM) world class facilities on Friday 11th January 2013.

The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Elaine Boyes, the Chair of Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, Councillor Neil Swannick and Stephen Jenkinson (Viridor Laing Chief Executive Officer) welcomed me to the city .

GMWDA and VLGM signed the Recycling and Waste Management Contract in April 2009.The Contract is creating state-of-the-art recycling facilities across the whole of Greater Manchester.

I was keen to visit the GMWDA world class facilities and on Saturday morning visited one of our largest sites at Longley Lane, Sharston, Manchester, to look at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) and Mechanical and Biological Treatment facility (MBT).

Through the Recycling and Waste Management Contract the current recycling rate is 40.9% which has increased significantly from 7% in 2002/03 with a target of 50% by 2015. 57% are diverted away from landfill with a target of 75% by 2015.

Greater Manchester's waste accounts for 5% of the UK’s municipal waste, this Contract will make a powerful contribution to ensuring that the UK complies with its requirements under the European Union Landfill Directive, and in turn will deliver important carbon benefits.

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) provides recycling and waste disposal services for over 1 million households in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford. It handles around 5% of national municipal waste.

Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) Limited is a joint venture company owned by Viridor, a subsidiary of Pennon Group PLC, and John Laing PLC, who have come together to deliver a 25 year Recycling and Waste Management Contract.

Recycle for Greater Manchester is a partnership between Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) Limited (VLGM) and the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA), encouraging all residents of Greater Manchester to reduce, re-use and recycle more and help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

 

The Greater Manchester zero waste initiative stated that it will save around 400,000 tonne of CO2 per year.

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) provides recycling and waste disposal services for 1,009,815 households in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford. It handles around 5% of national municipal waste.

VLGM is a joint venture company owned by Viridor, a subsidiary of Pennon Group PLC, and John Laing PLC, who have come together to deliver a 25 year Recycling and Waste Management Contract.


VLGM provides facilities and services to manage householders waste in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner. This involves the reception, treatment and disposal of waste to increase levels of recycling, composting and recovery and reduce waste sent to landfill. I was keen to visit the GMWDA world class facilities and on Saturday morning visited one of our largest sites at Longley Lane, Sharston, Manchester, to look at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) and Mechanical and Biological Treatment facility (MBT).