Event

ISWA conference at Ecomondo

Experts discussed the role waste management will play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and combatting climate change.

On the third day of this years Ecomondo in Rimini International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), supported by Ecomondo Scientific Technical Committee organized a conference to discuss the future of the waste management globally. 

"I'm happy that Ecomondo presents us with the opportunity to talk about the future of our planet. Now we have the unique opportunity to make things right. We are about to reach a point of no return so the time to act is now," said Carlos Silva Filho, ISWA President and CEO of ABRELPE. Adding that the Global Waste Management Outlook (GWMO) estimated in 2015 that 2 billion people worldwide lacked access to a basic waste collection service, while around 3 billion lacked access to controlled disposal services for municipal solid wastes. "We have almost 3 billion 1 billion lacking adequate waste management system. But a sound waste management system is a global human right as we at the ISWA are convinced. And I'm happy that a new UN resolution recognized this," Carlos Silva said.

In presenting the new ISWA report "The Future of The Waste Management Sector: Trends, Opportunities and Challenges for the Decade" technical director Aditi Ramolla pointed at the necessary role the waste management sector will have to play in the future. "We will see a drastic increase of waste generated worldwide and with that an increase in insufficient waste management. That means a lot of funding is needed to provide an adequate waste management." Sufficient waste collection, handling and disposal ist essential in protecting health and environment: Poorly management waste has an enormous impact on health and local and global environment, causing harm to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, losses in biodiversity and waste supplies and the economy.

"The waste sector also has the possibility to mitigate climate change," Aditi Romolla added. Proper operations of landfills, anaerobic digestion and composting plants, introducing, methane capture measures, use green energy to power collection, sorting and treatment systems, thermal and biological treatment plants are the ways to provide a more sustainable future. "The waste sector is aware of its role and the technical solutions do exist but of course we need partners to work with. Political and social awareness are key."

Alessia Borgogna, Nextchem Gruppo Maire Tecnimont, Gennaro Gentile and Maurizio Avella, IPCB CNR Pozzuoli presented interesting technologies for the recycling of various materials form plastic to wood. So one thing is clear: The waste sector is well aware of its possibilities and responsibilities and pushing innovations to be able to deal with the challenges an ever-growing population, an ever-growing amount of waste present.