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Learning Best Practices in Waste Management and Cleaner Production
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A quarter of the world market for waste management technology comes from Germany. One of the factors that make the country unique is the cooperation between the various actors, supported by the political and governance setting. SusValueWaste’s postdoctoral fellow, Julia Szulecka, based at TIK, UiO, just attended the 73rd International Short Course on Resource Efficiency – Cleaner Production and Waste Management. The course gave interesting insights on best practices in the waste management and cleaner production sectors.
The three week course was run by the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management (CIPSEM) at TU Dresden, and organized under the joint auspices of UNEP, UNESCO, the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, and the Dresden University of Technology. The participants came from 22 countries around the world, among them academics, civil servants, as well as employees of industrial companies and nongovernmental organizations.
Learning points included various aspects of waste management, resource efficiency and the development towards bioeconomy. Invited lectures focused, among others, on measurements of sustainable development, strategies for green industry and green economy, strategy development in environmental policy, examining environmental policy strategies, Life Cycle Assessment and integrated product policy.
CIPSEM courses are renowned for the balance between theoretical knowledge, practitioners’ insights and hands-on experience from field trips and on-site visits. The lectures were accompanied by excursions to different waste treatment and recycling facilities in and around Dresden, a two-day stay at the German Environment Agency in Dessau, and visit at Adelphi, a think tank and public policy consultancy on climate and environment and VDI Centre for Resource Efficiency in Berlin.
“Our visits to the organic waste treatment facilities as the Biowaste Composting RETERRA Freital GmbH & Co. KG and to the biogas plant Dresden-Klotzsche were particularly important for my current work on food waste. I am also paying particular attention to the socio-political and institutional setting for waste management and integration of the waste issue into the efforts towards achieving circular and bioeconomy”, says Julia. She is looking forward to applying the acquired cutting edge knowledge and practitioners’ perspectives in her inputs to SusValueWaste’s work packages on life cycle assessment and policies.
Waste and other residual materials from industries and households are of increasing value in today’s economy. Substances that have long represented a cost to the economy are now becoming a valuable resource. Exploiting the full potential of these resources requires increased innovation, systemic change as well as better regulation and governance.