EPOW Conference: Highlights

On a cold and distinctly wintery day, I had the privilege of attending a one-day conference hosted by EPOW (European Pathway to Zero Waste).

European Pathway to Zero Waste
European Pathway to Zero Waste

My earlier article in this blog, “EPOW conference: A sustainable future for the South East, has explained that EPOW is a partnership between the Environment Agency and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) aimed at demonstrating the zero landfill approach in the South East of England. EPOW is a LIFE+ funded programme, that is investigated practical ways to achieve zero waste to landfill in the South East of England and will come to its final conclusion on 31 March 2013.

The project recognised that the South East of England sends more total waste, more construction demolition and excavation waste, and more commercial and industrial waste to landfill than any other part of England. The South East had been chosen as one of the regions of the EU with the most to gain from a zero waste programme and was suited to serve as a demonstration project for other EU regions with high levels of waste generation and for regions with high levels of landfill.

Excellent and experienced speakers from the public and private sector sought to characterise the conference theme, ‘A sustainable future for the South East’ covering both, the supply and demand side, resource efficiency and sustainability issues. It is hoped that the presentations will be available for download later this month (February 2013).

The conference did have the atmosphere of a project that could have delivered more over its three years as their are many infrastructure and technical issues affecting waste management in the South East of England. Much had been developed by the project in relation to each of the following eight individual sub-projects, which aimed to encourage a recycling society with a high level of resource efficiency in the South East:

  1. Creating quality sustainable products
  2. Tackling Waste Crime
  3. Creating demand for sustainable products
  4. Creating a trading platform for sustainable products
  5. Developing waste sector infrastructure through support and partnerships
  6. Increasing green compliance and awareness through innovative electronic tools
  7. Supporting best practice
  8. New data management techniques

On balance, the legacy of the project will still be collective knowledge and experience held within the partners: Environment Agency and WRAP & the many organisations and individuals involved in the project, who will be better empowered to carry forward the key issues to yield the aim of a zero waste economy for the South East of England.

All the resources from the EPOW project can be found at http://bit.ly/o6wM4a

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