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Liverpool City Region hosts waste and resources European conference

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) last week welcomed waste management experts from the UK and Europe for a conference about the future of global resource management.

Delegates came to debate cutting-edge research into waste and resources during a two-day General Assembly of the European Commission’s WASTECOSMART project, which spans seven countries: Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and Sweden.

Each country partner has its own three-member ‘cluster’ of academic, business and public authority. The UK Liverpool City Region cluster is made up of the University of Central Lancashire (Centre for Waste Management), C-Tech Innovation Ltd and Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA).

The meeting, which was organised by MRWA, saw the partners each present and share work, research and best practice from their own regions and areas of expertise.

Acknowledging the importance of information exchange across European region, Carl Beer, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: “It’s very important to pool our knowledge with people from outside our normal boundaries. Some partners will be similar in approach, some will be different, and we’re all at various levels of where we want to be, but one thing we do have in common is that we can all learn from each other, both the successes and the failures.”

Established in 2013, the WASTECOSMART project is funded by the European Union’s Regions of Knowledge programme, and is looking for its partners to collaborate and invest more in sustainable growth with an emphasis on reduction of waste, innovative waste management and resource efficiency.

It is aligned with the EU Waste Framework Directive that established a five step waste hierarchy, which outlines prevention as the most preferred option, followed by re-use/recycling, recovery, and finally disposal. Focus is given to modern manufacturing methods, eco-design, the reduction of packaging and collaboration with industry, the third sector and consumers.

In this context, the WASTECOSMART partners are developing and testing a Decision Support Framework for Waste Management that will help regional policy makers and practitioners make informed decisions regarding their waste management strategy. It will see a toolkit created which can be shared across Europe to help partners overcome their own waste challenges.

The trip also gave the opportunity to show off the Merseyside’s own waste management assets and examples of good practice, such as the Gillmoss Materials Recycling Facility and the award-winning recycling and re-use social enterprise Bulky Bob’s.

Councillor Graham Morgan, Chairperson of MRWA, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome our European partners to the region. We can learn a lot from their experiences, as they can from us. It was certainly an eye opener to have all of these countries in one room at the same time!”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The attached photographs show delegates at the summit at MRWA offices in Liverpool.

WASTECOSMART stands for Optimisation of Integrated Solid Waste Management Strategies for the Maximisation of Resource Efficiency (www.wastecosmart.eu).

For the project, six research-driven triple helix clusters (science, industry and public sector) have been formed in Paphos (CY), Central Hungary, Piedmont (IT), Amsterdam (NL), Stockholm (SE) and Liverpool City Region (UK), complemented by waste and communication firm Greenovate (BE). WASTECOSMART also collaborates with international partners from Brazil, Mexico and India to promote international collaboration and opportunities in waste management.

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) is a local government body with nine elected members from the five constituent councils in Merseyside. It organises and manages disposal of all waste collected by the five councils and operates 13 Household Waste Recycling Facilities. www.merseysidewda.gov.uk

C-Tech Innovation (www.ctechinnovation.com) is an innovation management and technology development consultancy, with an international reputation in the areas of resource efficiency and business sustainability. Working one-to-one with clients we provide end-to-end tailored support allowing organisations to realise commercial success through technologies, products and services with genuine sustainability credentials.

Media contact:

John Lally
PR and Communications Officer
Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority
Direct telephone: 0151 255 2568
General telephone: 0151 255 1444
John.lally@merseysidewda.gov.uk