8th May, London, The Circular Economy and the Future of Waste Management 

The Circular Economy and the Future of Waste Management 
Delivering Innovative and Effective Strategies in Every Local Area
Central London
Tuesday 8th May 2018


Dr Lucy O’Shea
Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Bath

Chris Radway
Technical Director and Circular Economy Knowledge Leader
Ricardo Energy and Environment

Waste management is a ubiquitous and essential service nationwide, constituting a significant proportion of local government expenditure. Since the turn of the century councils in England have more than doubled their spending on waste and recycling, with £3.6bn budgeted to pay for waste collection in 2017/18 (DCLG, 2017).  In 2016, local authorities collected 3.7 million tonnes of waste, enough to fill more than 1500 Olympic sized swimming pools (London Assembly, 2017). However, the percentage of this waste consigned to landfill has decreased to 19.6% from 79% in 2015/16 (DEFRA, 2017).

In December 2015, the European Commission published the Circular Economy Package, introducing common EU targets for recycling municipal and packaging waste, and turning waste into valuable resources. In response, local authorities have sought to transform services, with the LGA’s Waste and Recycling Programme subsequently funding replicable projects delivering efficiencies in waste collection and use. According to latest figures, the 12 month waste from households recycling rate to end March 2017 was 45.1 per cent. This is an increase of 0.7 percentage points compared with the previous 12 month period to March 2016 (DEFRA, 2017). HM Government used the Litter Strategy for England (April 2017) to outline ambitions to increase the efficiency and productivity of resource use move towards a circular economy, whilst the 2017 Spring budget announced a consultation on extending the scope of landfill tax.

However significant progress is required to meaningfully address waste prevention, and extract greater value from waste material. Total collected waste by local authorities has remained stubbornly consistent over recent years, standing at 25,816,000 tonnes in 2014/15 (DEFRA, 2017). Furthermore, the UK has failed to develop large scale Energy-From-Waste (EFW) infrastructure, exporting 3 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste to Europe in 2016. Indeed, a recent analysis of UK waste management identified a serious deficit of domestic EFW capacity, resulting in a shortfall of 14m tonnes of waste requiring treatment (Suez, 2017).

With Britain’s impending exit from the European Union, this symposium will provide: local authorities, environment policy advisors, sustainability leads, private contractors, third sector groups and environmental planning officers, with a timely and invaluable opportunity to identify priorities for future UK waste policy and discuss feasible strategies to support circular economy objectives. It will also enable all stakeholders to share best practice in improving resource efficiency, maximising recycling and minimising waste.

Delegates Will: 

  • Identify priorities supporting a transition towards a circular economy model in the way we create, handle and dispose of waste
  • Explore procurement strategies that develop the market for circular goods and services
  • Formulate strategies for minimising waste through concerted action higher up the waste hierarchy
  • Determine how councils can develop infrastructure to extract greater value from waste
  • Examine challenges posed by the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, and how these can be overcome
  • Assess how to improve efficiency and utilise waste management techniques to reduce costs and generate income
  • Analyse innovative projects driving technical, organisational and behavioural change
  • Learn of successful and replicable partnership approaches supporting waste management ambitions
  • Develop methods of improving the customer experience and enhancing service quality
  • Share best practice in changing behaviours through community engagement, educational interventions, or new equipment

To view our brochure, including the full event programme, click here.

I am pleased to advise you that we offer a 20% early registration discount off the standard delegate rates (subject to type of organisation and terms and conditions) for bookings received by the 30th March 2018.  Do feel free to circulate this information to relevant colleagues within your organisation.

In the meantime, to ensure your organisation is represented, please book online or complete and return the registration form at your earliest convenience in order to secure your delegate place(s).

Kind regards,