Around 220 participants from 27 countries discussed Waste-to-Energy as an important part of the implementation of the Circular Economy targets.
Unai Rementeria Maiz, the President of the Government of Biscay welcomed the participants of the Congress, followed by a presentation by Paul De Bruycker, the President of CEWEP. “Waste-to- Energy has a dual purpose: it drives the circular economy by keeping the cycle clean. It also contributes to climate protection by diverting waste from landfills and replacing fossil fuels for energy production this way reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
William Neale, Adviser Circular Economy and Green Growth from the European Commission, delivered a keynote speech. “Waste-to-Energy is dealing with a problem that society wants to ignore, but it is there. Waste-to-Energy has a role to play in an integrated waste management system”, he stressed.
Experts from across Europe debated the implementation of the waste targets and the impact of the Chinese import restrictions on some waste streams. Other sessions tackled energy and climate as well as the technical aspects such as upcoming requirements based on best available technologies and recovery of precious metals from Waste-to-Energy bottom ash. Communication professionals closed the Congress with an inspiring discussion on the public perception of Waste-to-Energy in a post-truth context.
The following day, Congress participants had the opportunity to see the extraordinary Zabalgarbi Waste-to-Energy Plant which is famous for its innovative design where traditional waste incineration is combined with a gas turbine resulting in very high energy efficiency levels.