Every aspect of waste management — eliminating it, reducing it, re-using it and recycling it — will be on the agenda at a national two-day conference taking place at The University of Nottingham.
Tackling Waste 2008 will bring together experts from across the country to look at the latest in cutting-edge research associated with the issue of waste management and to hear a range of speakers covering topics addressing the unsustainable use of resources and ways to break the links between economic growth and the waste of resources and damage to our environment.
Subjects under discussion will include producing fuel from local organic waste, the potential use of microwave energy to reclaim contaminated soil, reducing waste on construction sites, householder processing of kitchen waste and more environmentally friendly concrete.
In addition to the research being presented, there will be poster sessions and a presentation on funding opportunities from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
The conference, which is taking place from Monday June 30 to Tuesday July 1 at the University's Jubilee Campus, has been organised by the Waste and Resources Management Network (WARMNET), a network of universities involved in waste management research and education. This year will also mark the first time that WARMNET has joined forces with the Government's Technology Strategy Board's Resource Efficiency Knowledge Transfer Network for the event.
Arnold Black, Network Director of the Resource Efficiency KTN, will give the opening address at the conference, followed by keynote addresses from the European Commission DG Environment, DEFRA's head of waste management, The Technology Strategy Board and the East Midlands Development Agency (emda).
Dr Margaret Bates, chair of WARMNET and Director of the SITA Centre for Sustainable Wastes Management, said: “The philosophy of the conference is to provide a specific platform for waste researchers who often find themselves quite isolated within a group that does not research waste as a core activity.
“For those researchers who may not feel part of the wider waste research community the conference is extremely important as a networking event.”
A conference dinner will be held the first evening of the event and will feature an after-dinner speech from humorous business writer Guy Browning. A regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 4 and writer of Weak at the Top starring Alexander Armstrong, Guy also has a long-running How To column in The Guardian which shows how to apply advanced business theory to everyday life — and shows that they don't work there either.
Conference sponsors include Sita Suez, Viridor, Biffa, emda, Veolia and The University of Nottingham's Environmental Technology Centre.