E-waste: IERC 2018 Highlights

This year almost 500 experts from 42 countries came to Salzburg from January 17 to 19 to discuss current market developments and technological trends in e-waste recycling.
Source: ICM

Again this year, an extensive conference programme awaited the participants, including 28 lectures, a final round table, two workshops and three plant tours to the Montanwerke Brixlegg, the Austrian recycling group Müller-Guttenbrunn and the company Elektronik Altgeräte Recycling (EAR) on the agenda.

The conference kicked off with David McWilliams, who is ranked the eleventh most influential economist in the world. In his keynote speech, McWilliams described the challenges posed by the Age of Disruption. He explained impressively what effects this could have on the economy.

The second keynote speaker was Professor Jinhui Li. The scientist from Tsinghua University in China described the opportunities offered by China’s circular economy for the recycling industry. The Chinese government’s plans to further promote the circular economy were also a key part of his presentation.

The other presentations were no less interesting and varied. Patrick Wiedemann, CEO of Reverse Logistics Group RLG, for example, reported on his company’s experience with e- waste recycling in India. Further country reports highlighted the recycling markets in Ghana and Russia.

In addition, there were presentations on new technological developments for optimizing the effectiveness of treatment processes. A presentation by Dr Alexandra Kibbe from the University of Magdeburg (Germany) on the psychological determinants influencing e-waste recycling was also met with great interest. Jaco Huismann from the United Nations University reported on the economics of not reporting and non-compliance with WEEE collection and treatment processes. The conference concluded with a panel discussion on the question: “Who will be the winners from the ever-increasing volumes of e-waste?”

Another highlight at every IERC is the presentation of the “IERC Honorary Award”. Since 2007, the International Steering Committee of the IERC has presented the award to distinguished personalities. This year, the IERC Honorary Award was given to Manfred Fahrner of ALBA Electronics Recycling GmbH for his services to the electronics recycling industry. With over 20 years of experience in the field of e-waste recycling, Manfred Fahrner is a leading figure in the recycling industry, stated the International Steering Committee, explaining its decision.

The next IERC 2019 will again take place in Salzburg from January 16 to 18, 2019.


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