Dr Jane Gilbert of the Association for Organics Recycling, formerly known as the Composting Association, is leaving the organisation after nine years as chief executive.
Dr Gilbert hopes to remain in the composting industry. She said: It has been a great pleasure to work for the Association, although I could not have achieved this vital work without the support of the directors and all the efforts of the staff in order to overcome fundamental challenges. I now plan to spend more time broadening these interests and working with my European colleagues.
She is vice-chair of the European Compost Network and the UKs representative on the International Solid Waste Associations Biological Treatment Working Group.
Dr Gilbert was instrumental in the formation and expansion of the Association, which was formed in 1995. She supported its members and contributed to the industrys professionalism through handling a wide variety of technical issues and by developing the Association by ensuring the sector had a voice throughout the UK and Europe.
Her many achievements include her early work on bioaerosols for composting sites which led to the sampling protocol used by industry and the Environment Agency and the first health and safety guidance, which is now recognised by the Health and Safety Executive as key industry guidance.
She also negotiated a clear way through the animal by-product issues with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the foot and mouth disease occurred, which led to the Animal By-Products Regulations.
The Association will wait until its board of directors makes a decision on who will replace Dr Gilbert.
In the meantime, Jeremy Jacobs will continue in the role of acting chief executive of the association. He said: The Association is in a strong position to build on Jane Gilberts excellent work, which is her legacy. My thanks and appreciation go to her for her hard work, technical expertise and determination to make the Association for Organics Recycling the UKs leading body for the biowaste management industry.