The Department of Environment and Hydraulic Works of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa participated in the Life ANADRY Conference "Management of urban waste and circular economy: initiatives and challenges" organized by Ceit-IK4 on 18 October 2018 in Donostia / San Sebastián. The meeting brought together various agents involved in waste management and it addressed issues such as sludge management and it also presented new technologies for the circular management of urban waste. The presentation of the seminar was given by the Deputy for the Environment, José Ignacio Asensio, the President of Ceit-IK4, José María Rodríguez-Ibabe and the Director of the Water and Health Division of Ceit-IK4, Enrique Aymerich.
José Ignacio Asensio, Regional Deputy of Environmental and Hydraulic in Gipuzkoa, explained that the Department wants to move forward in the direction of improving the environment, promoting the circular economy and seeking mitigation and adaptation to climate change. He also pointed out that "Gipuzkoa has achieved a breakthrough with selective collection, now it is time to make waste new raw materials to create wealth and employment". In this regard, he pointed out that, with initiatives such as the recycling cluster and the infrastructure of the Environmental Complex of Gipuzkoa, which will start operating in 2019, "in Gipuzkoa we should aspire to double size of the recycling sector to reach 10,000 jobs " Asensio concluded his remarks by making a call to the society of Gipuzkoa and to companies in the sector to join forces and transform waste and climate change into opportunities for creating wealth and employment in a more sustainable Gipuzkoa.
The President of Ceit-IK4 stressed in his speech about the management of urban solid waste and sludge generated in urban wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) faces significant challenges to adapt to the circular economy model as demanded by the European Union. The event presented innovative technological solutions that arise from the cooperation between industry, administration and technology centers. The management of urban solid waste (MSW) and sludge generated in urban WWTPs have major challenges in the framework of the circular economy according to the guidelines set by the European Union in recent years. The adaptation to this new context, where waste is valued as a source of resources, involves the adoption of technological solutions that allow the recovery of energy or materials from such waste in a viable and sustainable manner.
The Director of the Environment, Mónica Pedreira, framed her presentation on the Gipuzkoa Klima 2050 strategy to combat climate change. In line with the European objectives in this area, it is aimed to reduce 40% of emissions, achieve a 27% use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency in this same percentage, all before the year 2030. These challenges will require major efforts, but the fight against climate change must also be seen as an opportunity to boost the circular economy. The Regional Director stated that throughout these years, there has been a lot of work in terms of recycling, from percentages below 20% at the beginning of the year 2000 to an improvement close to 50%, at the moment. What was buried a few years ago in landfills is now recycled, such as organic matter that is nowadays composted and in the very near future will be used as recovered energy.
Pedreira also spoke about the new Waste Management Plan of Gipuzkoa (PIGRUG 2019-2030), which aims to close the cycle of recycling and waste recovery, setting 70% as a goal to be achieved. (LINK)