Recycling and waste management affects all industries and sectors. This year, RWM organiser Prysm has constructed the show around the three main markets of SMEs, big business and local authorities to make the market more easily accessible and targetable.
These groups, which each have their own specific needs, include all possible visitors to the show. Here are some ‘choice cuts’ of what to see and do at the show within each of these groups.
RWM has set out a clear objective to aid the growth of small and medium enterprises. Recognising the as-yet untapped potential available to companies in the form of digital marketing, the first port of call needs to be the Business Growth Theatre.
Jacqueline O’Donovan, managing director of O’Donovan Waste Disposal, will be offering key insights into how to grow a business into a million-pound enterprise, while Adtrak and Google Digital Garage will provide expert advice for companies that are falling short on their marketing and digital presence.
The returning Innovation City will be the hub of innovation at the exhibition, and will be a prime location for SMEs to explore and network within.
Innovate UK will be at the forefront of this feature, and will be on hand to discuss and explain possible funding available for companies pushing the envelope with their research and development. Being put in front of exhibitors such as Jelf, Astute Recruitment and Green Edge Applications (GEA) could aid the physical growth of companies, both in terms of staffing and superior waste management.
Failing to recognise the impact that big businesses can have on both their local and the global environment can be a fatal error. Having sponsors such as Dsposal and GEA makes for opportunities to source far more efficient avenues for waste.
A number of hugely influential organisations will be present at RWM, such as the Department for International Trade (DIT), Environmental Services Association (ESA) and Major Energy Users’ Council (MEUC), which have partnered with the co-running show Future Resource.
Networking with these organisations will provide insight into international trade options (DIT), advise on lawful waste disposal and the best options (ESA) or opportunities to join an internationally recognised council that will be a guiding hand in better energy resource management (MEUC).
Staying in Future Resource to catch Carbon Smart senior consultant Helen Troup’s seminar on businesses setting up their own sustainable resource project will be invaluable as well.
“This year, RWM organiser Prysm has constructed the show around the three main markets of SMEs, big business and local authorities to make the market more easily accessible and targetable.”
It takes only a little research to discover just how prominent environmental policy has become across national and local governments. RWM is an unmissable event for local authorities, with the Local Authority Theatre providing a focused space for council delegates to invest time to learn from market-leading individuals.
These include Steve Hartley and Cat Fletcher from Brighton & Hove City Council, who will discuss their National Recycling Award-winning Freegle initiative, as well as Kye Dudd from Bristol as he delves into his successful and award-winning ‘Slim My Waste’ campaign. This theatre should be at the top of any local authority agenda.
Alongside the space specific to this audience, there will be an unrivalled collection of world-class brands such as JCB, Mercedes Benz, Veolia, Viridor and Bradshaw Electric Vehicles, all on hand to offer insight into their products, making a visit to all of their stands essential to a council’s time at RWM.
Taking the time to explore the other shows that will fill up the rest of the space of the NEC will also reap results for delegates.
The likes of Natalie Bennett, former leader of the Green Party, will be speaking about the future of environmental policy reform at Future Resource. Making time especially for that event will be beneficial because it will give visitors the chance to talk to the likes of Northern Gas & Power, The Green Organisation and Orsted, which will provide expert insight into avenues that councils can explore to streamline and develop their resource usage.
RWM takes place on 12-13 September at the NEC, Birmingham
Nick Woore is the managing director of RWM
A flavour of discussions at RWM conferences
sir john armitt
Sir John Armitt, chair, National Infrastructure Commission
England recycles just 30% of its plastics waste, which is a long way from circular economy targets. We can, and must, do better and I will be discussing how at the conference.
The National Infrastructure Assessment is the first of its kind to look across a range of sectors and over such a long period of time – the next three decades. It offers recommendations for meeting the country’s infrastructure needs, including reducing waste.
It offers recommendations for improving our record so that, by 2030, the UK is recycling three-quarters of plastics waste and two-thirds of waste overall. That includes restricting the use in packaging of the hardest-to-recycle plastics; separating all food waste; and a clear labelling policy so that homes and businesses can quickly identify what is and is not recyclable.
All of this should be underpinned by a consistent national collection policy so that everyone follows the same recycling rules.
Separating food waste presents a huge opportunity with the potential to use it to create biogas, a low-carbon energy that can be used to heat homes and as a transport fuel, helping to meet our legally binding climate change targets.
Jane Hall, founder and director, Green Edge Applications (GEA)
As a result of significant growth in the digital sector, I decided to launch my online environmental consultancy, GEA. I want to address some of the shared problems I encountered during my career as a regulatory officer for the Environment Agency and while working with waste and industrial businesses, such as helping organisations to understand their legal duties and improving access to information.
GEA is launching WasteApp at the RWM conference, a technology which connects the waste industry with waste producers. Through the development of this technology, we aim to respond to a shared ‘call to arms’ from the industrial sector by making waste management easier.
As director and founder of GEA, I was delighted to be invited to host a seminar at RWM, and will be discussing the impact that advances in digital technologies are having on waste management practices. I aim to answer questions such as can digital technologies help to make waste management easier, can they help to solve the UK’s waste problems and are they a threat or of benefit?
Nick Cliffe, interim head of advanced materials, Innovate UK
UK Research and Innovation is a new publicly funded organisation which operates across the UK with a combined budget of more than £6bn. It brings together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. We are independent, principally funded through the science budget by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Our mission is to support UK research and innovation. We provide funding and help connect the best researchers and innovators with customers, users and the public to drive productivity and economic growth.
In my seminar I will introduce UK Research and Innovation, and explain in more detail how we can help companies to innovate and develop new products and services. I will also give some background on what we have already funded in the resources and waste management sector and discuss plans for the future, including our current focus on solving the challenge of plastics, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
James Lee, managing director, Cromwell Polythene
It seems to have become the norm to deride plastics and condemn them as being bad for the environment. Brought into public focus though the TV programme Blue Planet 2, the issue has gathered pace with the UK Government’s 25-year environment plan and the EU plastics strategy.
Those working on the environmental/recycling side of a local authority will know that plastic is highly recyclable when treated properly and can be used to generate energy at the end of its useful life. Crucially, they will also know that plastic products are an integral part of the waste management and recycling infrastructure.
The problem of marine pollution is very real and needs to be tackled. But it is the result of littering or poor waste management, meaning that the leakage of valuable resources is caused by our established infrastructure, not something inherent in the material.
In my opinion, rather than placing taxes or bans on plastic packaging, which punish everyone, governments should be concentrating efforts on reinforcing existing environmental regulations, and increasing penalties and fines for individuals and corporations who flout the law and create the problem. Revenues from fines could pay for clean-ups.
Find the seminar schedule at rwmexhibition.com/seminars