Waste Management 2014
7th International Conference on Waste Management and the Environment
12 - 14 May 2014
The Seventh International Conference on Waste Management and the Environment took place in Portonovo, a beauty spot located in the Conero National Park, near Ancona, Italy.
The meeting was co-organised by the Politecnica University of Le Marche and the Wessex Institute, with the collaboration of the University of Nagoya in Japan.
The Conference Chairmen were Prof Carlos A Brebbia of Wessex Institute, Giorgio Passerini of Politecnica of Le Marche and Hideaki Itoh of Nagoya University and Raremetal Recovery Institute, Japan.
This very successful series of conferences started in Cadiz in 2002 and since then it has been reconvened in different locations, ie Rhodes (2004); Malta (2006), Granada (2008); Tallinn (2010) and the New Forest (2012).
Society is increasingly aware of the need to establish better practices and safer solutions for waste disposal, one of the big problems of modern times due to the ever expanding volume and complexity of discarded domestic and industrial waste.
Further investigation into disposal methods and recycling as well as new technologies to monitor landfills, industrial and mining wastes and chemical and nuclear repositories are required.
There has been a sudden increase of activities in several key aspects of Waste Management. The first regards the establishment of new classifications, those of Secondary Raw Materials (SRM) and of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). They both refer to useful products obtained from waste and are different from most recycle or reuse focussed tools employing waste within the production cycle.
Another aspect of this revolution is happening gradually by people buying waste, particularly eWaste and some types of plastic, the so-called technical waste. This is due to the strengthened and high price of certain raw materials and the possibility of sorting out waste in developing regions of the world. A major concern is the implication of waste management on health and the environment. The conference discussed these topics and the need to arrive at suitable strategies for waste management.
Opening of the Conference
The conference was opened by Prof Carlos A Brebbia who explained the objectives of the Wessex Institute, ie to act as a mechanism for the transfer of knowledge at an international level. WIT, Carlos said, offered a wide range of services to academic institutions and industry, including the organisation of international conferences, such as Waste Management. Papers presented at Wessex Institute meetings are referenced and regularly appear in notable reviews, publications and databases. The papers published in Waste Management, for instance, are compiled in volume 180 of the WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment and are archived in the WIT eLibrary (http://library.witpress.com/) where they are permanently available to the international scientific community.
Carlos also spoke about the advanced consulting and research services offered by the Wessex Institute and the importance of the joint activities held in conjunction with other Universities. The Institute has well established links with the Politecnica University of Le Marche, under which many activities have taken place, including a few years back the award of the renowned Prigogine Medal (see http://www.wessex.ac.uk/12-conferences/sustainable-city-2012.html).
Carlos then described the aims of the Waste Management Conference and the different activities to take place during the event. He ended by thanking the delegates for having come to the meeting and wishing them a successful conference.
Prof Itoh then spoke about the history of the conference since it started in Cadiz in 2002 and the importance of the work presented over the years. His remarks were followed by those of Prof Passerini who welcomed the delegates on behalf of the authorities of the University of Le Marche.
The conference comprised a substantial number of presentations under the following headings:
- Industrial waste
- Reduce, reuse, recycle and recovery (4Rs)
- Energy from waste
- Environmental remediation
- Waste processing
- Agricultural waste
- Environmental impact
In addition, there were a series of invited presentations by well-known colleagues:
- “The use of membrane technology for the formulation of spent anaerobic digester effluents as a nutrient source for bacterial growth” by Myrto-Panagiota Zacharof, Swansea University, UK.
- “Adsorption for environmental remediation: the use of activated carbon as a by-product from a biomass gasification plant compared with commercial activated carbon” by Anabela Oliveiro, Instituto Politecnico de Portalegre, Portugal.
Two special seminars were dedicated to Waste Management problems of great current interest. The first was organised by Prof Elena Rada of the University of Trento, Italy on the topic of Direct and indirect pre-treatment of MSW. It contained a keynote address by Prof Rada titled “Municipal solid waste selective collection and tourism” and continued with four excellent presentations with the following titles:
- “The mass and energy balance of an integrated solution for municipal solid waste treatment”
- “Proposal for the correct management of the Life Cycle Assessment results from integrated municipal solid waste treatment”
- “Environmental assessment of waste transport and treatment: a case study”
- “Anaerobic side-stream reaction in wastewater treatment: review”
- Another outstanding session was put together by Prof Roland Pusch of Lulea University of Technology, Sweden. He delivered a keynote address on “The predicted and actual wetting rate of the buffer in repositories for high-level radioactive waste”. This was followed by a presentation from Prof Rolf Sjöblom of Tekedo AB and Luleå University of Technology, Sweden on “The long-term effects of nuclear accidents”.
Three further presentations in the session were entitled:
- “The environmental implications of depleted uranium in Iraq and the principles of isolating it”
- “VDH – a case of ostrich philosophy or a serious alternative for the disposal of highly radioactive waste?”
- The assessment of clay buffers for isolating highly radioactive waste”
ISAC and Conference Dinners
The International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) of the conference met over dinner in a restaurant renowned for its excellent fish and local wines, including the world famous Verdicchio. The Committee reviewed the conference topics, suggesting new ones which are related to current research. A few more names were proposed for the Committee and several possible locations were discussed for reconvening the meeting in 2016. The dinner was an occasion to thank the Committee members for the work they have done for the conference, including reviewing abstracts and papers.
The Conference banquet took place in the unique setting of the Napoleonic Fort, a heritage structure on the sea front, now converted into a unique hotel with an excellent restaurant. The Fort was built at the time of the Napoleonic wars to protect Ancona from a possible attack by the English Navy, and has been carefully restored.
The delegates were welcomed on the terrace from where they could see the sun setting behind the surrounding cliffs, and proceeded to a meal consisting of a series of excellent regional dishes, accompanied by the renowned wines of Le Marche.
Carlos and Giorgio proposed a toast to thank the participants for having attended the conference and wished for the success of the international contacts and friendships that had developed during the meeting. They stressed the importance of international collaboration and interdisciplinary work. The evening was a great success and everybody was most appreciative of the unique setting and the excellence of the cuisine.
Closing of the Conference
The Conference closed in the Aula Magna of the Politenic University of Le Marche which is a part of a beautiful heritage building in the centre of Ancona. The Rector of the University, Prof Sauro Longhi, opened the proceedings, addressing the delegates and pointing out the international direction of the meeting with delegates from nearly 50 different countries. This was followed by addresses by the Dean of Engineering, Prof Dario Amodio and the Head of the Industrial Engineering Department, Prof Fabio Polonara, the latter explained the interest of the Department in the environmental problems discussed during the Conference.
Prof Carlos A Brebbia, Director of Wessex Institute, then referred to the function of these conferences within the objectives of WIT and mentioned that its collaboration with the University of Le Marche gave rise to a few different conferences held in Ancona and a continuous interchange of researchers, particularly now that Prof Passerini sits on the Board of Directors of the Institute. WIT Press – Carlos said – has also published several books (in addition to the conference proceedings) authored by researchers at the University of Le Marche.
The final remarks were down to Prof Passerini who stressed the commitment of his group to international collaboration.
Following these remarks two special sessions were held in the Aula Magna. They comprised several keynote addresses by well known colleagues.
The sessions included seminars on waste processing and environmental impact, the titles of those presentations were:
- “Global initiatives in waste gasification”
- “Ship waste management along the Danube: The way towards an international Danube ship waste convention”
- “EPR in Brazil and the sectoral agreements: developments and critique”
- “IDES project: a tool for safety and security in the environment based on GIS and semantic technologies”
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 180 of WIT Transactions on the Ecology and the Environment (ISSN: 1746-448X, Digital ISSN 1743-3541). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com
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