Top experts in the sector have participated
• The fourth edition of this international congress, which was held at the Tecnocampus in Mataró from the 28th-30th October, drew on knowledge, assessment, experiences and challenges closely tied to the sustainable management of waste, bringing together renowned experts in the sector.
• But it wasn’t only presentations and speeches; the event made space for personal motivation with the participation of Víctor Kuppers, empathy, gastronomy and culture.
• Carles Salesa, manager of the waste Consortium in the Maresme and chairman of the congress, said: “We decided on a more plural and participative organisation, with a more singular and transversal content”.
• In essence, a unique meeting which enjoyed extremely positive feedback, and which has a long way to go towards a goal which was on everyone’s lips: the circular economy.
The fourth edition of RECUWATT, held from the 28th–30th October at the Tecnocampus in Mataró, welcomed more than five hundred registered visitors, who, throughout three intensive working days, were able to enjoy a unique congress in its field: unique thanks to its capacity to bring together each and every aspect of sustainable waste management, attracting the interest of people from different communities and countries.
However, beyond the mere transfer of knowledge by authorities and experts in the sector, the event also became a space for debate and reflection, allowing an exchange of experiences among those who, for different professional or personal reasons, are connected to an area of activity which is becoming more and more important in modern society due to its capacity to influence the integrity of the environment in which we live, and therefore the wellbeing of the population.
Different politicians were present, such as the Mayor of the city of Mataró and President of the Consortium for Municipal Solid Waste Treatment of the Maresme, David Bote; the MP for the Environment at the Diputación of Barcelona, and Mayor of Manresa, Valentí Junyent; and the Minister Josep Rull. When speaking, all expressed their desire to support this event, for many years a must-attend congress due to its special environmental relevance, with their presence, and emphasised its capacity to generate synergies and points of convergence, which undoubtedly promote the joining of forces and advancement towards meeting the European objectives.
Recycling more and recycling better has been one of the recurring themes of this year’s congress, which on the first day brought together numerous spokespeople from the Public Administrations and Managers of Public Services. Models of selective collection, tax, waste prevention and reduction policies, as well as public-private collaboration were some of the themes discussed, making it obvious in all cases the need for political consensus on the subject, in addition to compromise, transparency and information.
INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY, BUT ALSO PERSONAL MOTIVATION AND CULTURE
On the second day Víctor Kuppers brought a smile to the faces of all present with his presentation “Being nice”. During his address, which was relaxed, witty and clever, he referred to mood and attitude as key elements to achieve success. Humour gave way to a series of interventions on the subject of education, communication and transparency, tackling other points of interest such as information systems and economic sustainability in waste management.
Waste-to-energy of the non recyclable fraction was also a key theme, and there was a wide and precise overview of the different existing technologies and the role that this system must develop within the framework of the current regulations.
The third day focused on discovering the best presentations submitted for the project “Call for Papers”, which were chosen on the basis of their capacity for innovation, disruption and added value. More time was also dedicated to the circular economy as a model, and finally there was a space reserved to visualise the future of Recuwatt, more solid than ever.
But it wasn’t all presentations and speeches. The participants were lucky enough to be invited to a locally sourced lunch consisting of typical products from the Maresme. There was also a visit to the Santa Florentina Castle in Canet de Mar, made famous by being one of the settings for the sixth season of the famous TV series ‘Game of Thrones’. Finally, there was a guided technical visit around the Centre for Waste Recovery, an activity which closed an event which has established itself worldwide as one of the most important in the sector.
PLANNING, NEATNESS AND RIGOUR
During one of his interventions, Carles Salesa, manager of the Maresme waste Consortium and Chairman of the Congress, said, “We decided on a more plural and participative organisation, with a more singular and transversal content, which encompasses the whole cycle of waste management.” And all this complemented with a locally sourced gastronomic meal, cultural and technical visits, an exhibition of cleaning and collecting machinery, a poster competition, and even the signing of collaborative agreements between institutions.
Organized by the waste Consortiums of the Maresme, the Vallès Oriental and the Vallès Occidental, with the support of the Catalan Waste Agency and Environmental Forum Foundation, RECUWATT has established itself as a unique meeting point, enjoying extremely positive feedback, but facing a long journey to reach a goal everyone is talking about, which is only achievable through great effort and hard work: the circular economy.