Thanks to the valuable input provided by the Scientific Committees, topics of high relevance emerged and will be extensively discussed in specific conference sessions chaired by selected scientists, as detailed below.
Please note that, due to the postponement of the Symposium, paper proposals are still accepted. For more details please visit: Call for papers | Conference topics | Programme outline
Chair: Alessandra Bonoli, University of Bologna (IT)
According to EU waste hierarchy, waste minimisation should play the most important role in waste management. The role of minimisation is, so far, small and the way to measure it is still unclear. Several strategies could be adopted to avoid or reduce waste generation at the source, monitoring both the quantity and the quality. The strategies can be implemented at different steps of the life cycle of products, the “eco-design” might represent an important tool to produce goods which should be long lasting, easy to be repaired/reused, free of any hazardous substance, etc. This session aims at addressing the critical points and opportunities within the concepts of prevention and eco-design.
Chair: Maria Cristina Lavagnolo, University of Padova (IT)
The collaboration between public and private sectors, including companies producing goods and services, is essential for urban mining in view of an effective circular economy. However, the role of the citizens is even more important, at several steps of the life cycle of goods (production, use/reuse and final return to the environment). Although the action of the citizens may be reflected at different scale, it can be particularly effective at small scale, when citizens have a feeling of doing something concrete for their own community. On the contrary, many people feel that their contribution is marginal when considering the waste problem at large scale. The session aims at identify the actions taken at small scale (residential, city district, etc.) that demonstrate how the will to change one’s own surrounding space may serve as driver for a deeper change in society.
Chair: Raffaello Cossu, University of Padova (IT)
Promoting waste recycling is crucial to “close the loop” of raw materials. In this context, adopting sustainable End Of Waste criteria to legally establish when a waste ceases to be considered waste and obtains the status of a marketable product, is a fundamental step to achieve the objectives of a circular economy. This is a call for papers on the following specific topics that we will be presented and discussed: regulations, applications, critical issues (contaminants, economical implication, waste transport).
Chair: Andreas Bartl, TU Wien (AT)
Continuous increase of fibre and textile production is accompanied by an overall decrease in useful life and by environmental impacts. The amount of textile waste is large, with a rather non-uniform material stream, featuring mixtures of various origin, and recycling can be complicated. The session is an opportunity to discuss the limitations of recycling approaches, to introduce new methods for recycling and for new materials production, to explore the trade of second-hand clothing.
Chair: Massimo De Marchi, University of Padova (IT)
The phenomena of socio-environmental disputes related to the design and construction of waste treatment plants, very often simplified as NIMBY syndrome (“Not In My Back Yard”), are still numerous. The forms of participation in such cases raise important questions: how do we define involved communities? How to manage participatory inclusive processes? How to define and measure the representativeness of a committee or a protest movement, claiming the right to dispute decisions of collective importance? At what point in the decision-making process is it necessary to involve citizens and how? What instruments already in the legislation need to be stressed or corrected for the optimal implementation of the circular economy? The session is a call to collect experiences at international level and to amplify the debate on a subject that continues to be controversial and challenging.
Chair: Francesco Fatone, Marche Polytechnic University (IT)
Water is one of the key resources for the full implementation of the circular economy and the circular management of urban water is of particular importance. In this sense, waste water is the category of waste currently least exploited by the circular economy due to legislative, social barriers, economies of scale, standardisation and quality/competitiveness of recoverable resources; and also, maturity, reliability and technological diffusion. The session is an opportunity to present new experiences and to discuss different points of view with the aim to promote a wise water cycle.
Chairs: Elena Cossu, Anna Artuso, Arcoplan Associates (IT)
This session will be devoted to the architectural and design aspects of new models focussing on waste management in urban areas with a view to ultimately surpassing criticalities of the system, transforming it into a real opportunity for the territory, linked to both a reduction of tariffs (applied by facility and service managements) and the creation of social and environmental value and related activities. Commencing with the principles underlying the new approach to reuse, the following topics will be discussed: pneumatic waste collection as a contemporary opportunity in the sustainable management of separate collection in a series of urban contexts (historic areas, residential areas, industrial areas areas…) / the role of architecture in achieving a significant reduction of wastes and the programmatic inclusion of reuse in urban mining / new models for reuse centres, recycling banks, tip shops: organisation of new purpose-designed public areas providing for a combination of the different types of facilities and centres, examining possible synergies and professional figures / Other
Chair: Alberto Pivato, University of Padova (IT)
One of the main concerns for human health regarding the spreading of biosolids (in particular compost and digestate) on agricultural land is the potential uptake of contaminants into plants which may bio-transfer into grazing animals or directly consumed by humans. The workshop context will contribute to establish a network of experts able to deepen the knowledge about digestate management alternatives, legal aspects, chemical and ecotoxicological characterisation and human risk analysis with the focus on the protection of human health.
Chair: Valentina Grossule, University of Padova (IT)
Complex systems, used in both solid and liquid waste management and treatment, might result not always affordable, particularly due to high costs and high technology needed. The interest for developing innovative sustainable treatment techniques is growing worldwide favouring the application of concepts such as the Blue Economy concept (Gunter Pauli, 2004). This concept aims to find solutions inspired by nature, trying to move from environmental problems to opportunities of business and innovation. Blue technologies should be simple, cost-effective and should allow recovering viable resources in terms of energy and material. Examples that will be introduced in this session, are related to: Use of Black Soldiers Fly (BSF) larvae for biowaste treatment, Phytotreatment using energy crops, Thermocompost. Other contributions are welcome in order to promote new fruitful collaboration and discussion.