GLOBAL GOALS S02E09: Urban Waste Management


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A growing middle class has meant more disposable income; more spending has generated more waste, and that waste is more complex. This is increasingly recognised as unsustainable as natural resources are diminishing and ‘old’ infrastructure such as landfills are falling out of favour. At the same time, the general public is understanding - and experiencing - climate change more. Cities must tackle waste in a way that is socially, environmentally and economically viable. So what next?


Firstly, “No man is an island,” as Mie Johnson states. Municipalities can collaborate with - and incentivise - civil society and the private sector, and share learnings. And no two cities are the same. Swati Singh Sambyal showcases Ambikapur and much-vaunted Indore. Their diametrically opposite approaches, one multi-stakeholder, including women’s self-help groups, and the other capital-intensive and centralised, have both been successful - but it has taken years. Then, as Andrea Basilova stated, consumers need not be passive. If enough of us boycott a product, the manufacturer will not make it.


Secondly, data provides transparency for all stakeholders, not least producers, who can track and trace waste streams. Andrea has created a successful business on the back of this.


Thirdly, new policies such as extended producer responsibility will require manufacturers to invest in the ‘downstream’ system. Recycling is not a silver bullet, even if countries are introducing targets. Companies may well look to designing waste out as far as possible, tackling the ‘upstream’, as Swati calls it. Deposit return schemes have been re-introduced. It is now quite standard for city residents to pay in proportion to their waste. More recently, another incentive, paying according to how well you sort your waste, is taking off. Other levers include landfill taxes.


Transitions take time, but by combining policy, technology and education, and showcasing best practices, we can move the needle on circular and regenerative practices. We can also demonstrate the investment case and turn a cost centre into a revenue- and resource-generating one.




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SPEAKERS

Author of A Circular Economy Handbook, Consultant and Host of the Circular Economy Podcast Catherine Weetman is an international speaker, workshop facilitator, coach, consultant and host of the Circular Economy Podcast. She founded Rethink Solutions to help businesses, social enterprises and community groups to use circular economy approaches to build a better world. Catherine's award-winning book, A Circular Economy Handbook, explains the what, why and how of the circular economy. The second edition, due out in November 2020, includes a new chapter on packaging, over 100 new examples, and many more updates. Catherine qualified as an Industrial Engineer and began her career in garment manufacturing, before moving onto logistics solution design, project management, business intelligence and supply chain consulting, including senior roles with Tesco, Kellogg's and DHL Supply Chain. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport,  a Fellow of The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), a university lecturer and has a Master's Degree from Cranfield University. She supports the Circular Economy Club as a mentor and Chapter lead for the Tees Valley, in the UK.

SWATI SINGH SAMBYAL

Waste Management Specialist

UN Habitat India


Swati Singh Sambyal is a renowned researcher on resource management. Swati has worked in India and across the Global South on development issues concerning integrated waste and resource management. She has been a part of the National Geographic forum on the circular economy. Swati is trained at Swedish EPA, Stockholm and Norwegian EPA, Oslo on environmental governance and planning. She is presently a waste management specialist with UNHABITAT looking after projects in India and the Global South on plastics and landfill remediation. She was head of a municipal solid waste programme at New Delhi-based environment policy and advocacy organisation, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), for 9 years.


Founder and Creative Director, Biomimicry Innovation Lab  Richard loves to explore fresh ideas and concepts and is ever curious about the environment around him. He is an award-winning designer and has worked worldwide in cities, manufacturing, food systems and product design. Richard’s passion is to develop innovation models to reduce costs and improve efficiency and resilience in the design and manufacturing process. He taught at some of the top design schools in the world: from The Royal College of Art (UK); The Pratt Institute (USA); Vellore Institute of Technology (India); and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary). Richard is also the founder of the non-profit Biomimicry UK, an equine technology startup, Smart Stable Limited, whilst sitting on several advisory boards. He combines design work with research development via the Design Society and the ISO Standards in Biomimetics.

ANDREA BASILOVA

Co-Founder and Head of Communications, Sensoneo


Andrea is co-founder of Sensoneo, a technology company that provides cities and businesses with data-driven waste management that leads to efficiency, transparency, and lower environmental footprint. Sensoneo has attracted cities and businesses around the world and the solution is installed in over 60 countries worldwide. The company has won several reputable competitions (Innovation World Cup Series 2019 in the category Smart Territories, Proptech Start-up Europe 2019, Deloitte Fast50 2021 Impact Stars), a member of Circular Slovakia, and a member of Proptech for Good. Thanks to Sensoneo, the innovations the company has brought to the market, and her experience with deploying projects in various countries, Andrea is perfectly oriented in diverse areas tackling waste management challenges such as digitization, sustainability, and smart cities.


Founder and Creative Director, Biomimicry Innovation Lab  Richard loves to explore fresh ideas and concepts and is ever curious about the environment around him. He is an award-winning designer and has worked worldwide in cities, manufacturing, food systems and product design. Richard’s passion is to develop innovation models to reduce costs and improve efficiency and resilience in the design and manufacturing process. He taught at some of the top design schools in the world: from The Royal College of Art (UK); The Pratt Institute (USA); Vellore Institute of Technology (India); and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary). Richard is also the founder of the non-profit Biomimicry UK, an equine technology startup, Smart Stable Limited, whilst sitting on several advisory boards. He combines design work with research development via the Design Society and the ISO Standards in Biomimetics.

MIE JOHNSON

Senior Project Manager

State of Green


Focusing on circular economy, clean air and waste management, Mie Johnson is Senior Project Manager at the Danish public-private partnership State of Green. Prior to this, Mie worked as Coordinator for communications and sustainability at the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU). She holds a master’s degree in International Business Communication & Language from Copenhagen Business

School.



CHARITY


For this episode we will be supporting 1001 Fontaines by donating £100 for Every 100 Listeners which will allow :


  • 100 people provided with lifetime access to safe and affordable drinking water

1001fontaines is a French NGO whose vision is that the best way to improve the health of vulnerable populations is to enable them to drink safe water. 1001fontaines has pioneered an innovative model, leveraging philanthropy and social entrepreneurship to create a sustainable impact.



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