Dr Jane Gilbert of the Association for Organics Recycling (formerly The Composting Association) is leaving the organisation after nine years as Chief Executive.
Dr Gilbert was instrumental in the formation and expansion of the Association. She significantly contributed to the industry's professionalism through handling a wide variety of technical issues and by developing the Association, supporting its members and ensuring the sector had a credible voice throughout the UK and Europe.
Dr Gilbert's many achievements include her early work on bioaerosols for composting sites which led to the sampling protocol used by industry and the Environment Agency, and the first Health and Safety Guidance which is now recognised by the HSE as key industry guidance. Dr Gilbert also made a major contribution to the initial work on the Compost Quality Protocol and the BSI standard PAS 100 Compost Certification Scheme and certification standards for biodegradable packaging; she negotiated a clear way through the animal by-product issues with Defra, when the foot and mouth disease crisis occurred, which led to the conception of the Animal By-Products Regulations.
Dr Gilbert remains involved in the composting industry. She said: 'It has been a great pleasure to work for the Association, although I could not have achieved this vital work without the support of the directors and all the efforts of the staff in order to overcome some fundamental challenges. I now plan to spend more time broadening these interests and working with my European colleagues. Dr Gilbert is Vice-Chair of the European Compost Network and the UK's representative on the International Solid Waste Association's 'Biological Treatment Working Group'.
Jeremy Jacobs, will continue in the role of Acting Chief Executive of the Association. He said: 'The Association is in a strong position to build on Jane Gilbert's excellent work, which is her legacy; my thanks and appreciation go to her for her hard work, technical expertise and determination to make the Association for Organics Recycling the UK's leading trade body for the biowaste management industry.'