Sensor based sorting equipment manufacturer for the recycling and other industries, TOMRA, has held its first two day ‘TOMRA Leads Global Conference´ on the Greek island of Crete.
Jointly hosted by TOMRA Sorting Recycling and Greek waste management firm, Helector the company said that the event was established to share knowledge and expertise about the management of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW).
Discussing the event, and the development and utilization of TOMRA’s technology with WMW, Tom Eng, head of recycling at TOMRA said: “We are celebrating our 20th anniversary. We have seen some big changes. In the early days it was clearly Germany leading the way forward. Today sensor based sorting from TOMRA is used in over 60 countries.”
“We have a challenge on our hands. Not only is the world population rapidly growing, but there continues to be a massive exodus to cities. One New York City will be created every six weeks. This will put an enormous strain on resources. Fortunately, we are in a position to manage this.
Day one of the event featured a guided tour through the DEDISA-Helector waste management plant, which was renovated in 2015. The performance upgrade has brought benefits to the municipal district of Chania and its 110,000-strong community. For more on this keep your eyes peeled for an imminent WMW video featuring the facility.
Guests at the conference discovered how new legislative developments and technological advances are set to impact on this market, and also learned more about the factors that govern and determine the feasibility of MSW recycling plants in their own regions.
“Some markets exist due to strong legislation,” Eng Told WMW. “Many others exist due to the fact that it is still possible to have a return on investment capital, if you have the right processes – and the right equipment.”
Closing the Loop
The first of five keynote speakers was Clarissa Morawski, managing director at Reloop, whose theme was “Maximising Resource Efficiency” via the new Circular Economy package. She was followed by Jürgen Resch, Managing Director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe, who spoke about the prospects for “Turning Waste into Valuables” from an NGO perspective.
Next up Ulrich Schlotter, project director at BKV, discussed the process of “Recycling Plastics from Waste” and explained the innovation required to turn such a project from fantasy into reality.
CEO of DKR, Dr Frank Böttcher, then took delegates through “Market Access to High Quality Recycling”, and highlighted the need for recyclers to adopt a new approach to meet changing market needs.
Closing speaker, Jürgen Priesters, Business development director at TOMRA Sorting, took a future-oriented look at the industry, presenting a thought-provoking paper on “Future Waste Treatment – Ecological and Economical aspects.”
Addressing the conference, Jürgen Priesters emphasised the critical importance of events such as the TOMRA Leads conference.
“The rapid growth in world population continues to generate vast increases in MSW,” he said. “Most of this waste is destined for incineration plants or landfill sites and as a direct result of this practice, valuable raw materials are needlessly destroyed. Closed-loop recycling, separate collection structures, deposit systems and manufacturer initiatives are all excellent examples of how to reverse this wasteful trend while working towards a resource-friendly policy.”
“It’s only through enlightened collaboration that we can jointly make a positive impact and change the methods used to process MSW. Through TOMRA Leads we’ve developed a platform that brings together experts and demonstrates many different aspects of creating value from waste,” concluded Priesters.
The conference also marked the launch of the TOMRA Leads series, which will include local and global events, as well as other platforms and channels. The aim is to provide a dynamic and detailed insight into current and future waste-management issues.
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