CIWM’s new president states the importance of resource and waste management to the environment
CIWM’s new president Professor David C. Wilson has highlighted how crucial resource and waste management is to health and the environment globally within his first speech.
During the speech, he explained how solid waste management is a key tool, and as public-sector budgets continue to be cut, there is a need to protect public health.
The president outlined the progress made in safe management of waste since the 1970s and explained that there can be no leniency to the regulatory framework.
He said: “Two major priorities for CIWM are to ensure that following Brexit we have continuity of the strong regulations on which the very existence of the waste and resources industry depends, and the continuing fight against waste crime.
“An important part of that regulatory underpinning is health and safety and CIWM is also committed to reducing the unacceptable fatality rates in the industry.”
The president continued to discuss the change to resources and waste and called for a “necessary parallel focus on the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – and on the shift from the linear model to a circular economy where resource efficiency and productivity are key”.
Within the 2017/18 Presidential Report, Making Waste Work: A Toolkit – Community Waste Management in Low and Middle Income Countries, the president explored issues surrounding waste collection in certain countries, how children grow up in unhygienic homes and how open dumping leads to plastics in the ocean.
Calling this a “global waste emergency”, he said he believes this is an important opportunity for the international community.
He added that international initiatives are progressive and will leave numerous communities around the world, where local authorities have no funds, to provide basic waste management service.
However, the professor said: “With simple tools and the right knowledge, people can become ‘self-employed recycling entrepreneurs’, providing a very valuable service for the health and wellbeing of their community and the whole planet, as well as reducing poverty and creating sustainable livelihoods.”
He was speaking at his inauguration speech in London.