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Made today, gone tomorrow?

Symposium series on future trends in resource use and management

Produced by Beasley Associates Ltd and Ray Georgeson Resources Ltd for Envirolink Northwest and Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority

Predicting the future is challenging, yet major decisions need to be made about the types and amount of infrastructure needed in the long term to manage our municipal waste and material resources.

As waste is increasingly seen as a resource to be minimised and then utilised efficiently, the systems we use for the collection, sorting, processing and treatment of material resources from households may change.

Many factors may affect this: consumer trends; product design and marketing; manufacturing industries and the balance between exported and imported materials and products; the likely scarcity of valuable resources (especially precious metals); economic factors in the era of ‘new austerity’ environmental drivers including the low carbon agenda; and developments in logistics and sophistication of collection systems may be just a few.

A series of workshops were commissioned by Envirolink Northwest and Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, and produced by Beasley Associates and Ray Georgeson Resources. The aim was to bring together key senior stakeholders to take a visionary and potentially challenging look at future resource flows and resource management from a wide range of different perspectives. Events have been held in London and Liverpool with an invited audience of senior waste and resource managers, economists, designers, retailers, academics, policy specialists, manufacturers and recyclers during which there were opportunities to learn and contribute to the debate.

A final report has been produced and is available to download here.

There were four key events in the workshop series:

  • Future Strategic Direction for Resource Management

    –a ‘blue skies’ thinking session, allowing for a broad discussion of the potential direction of waste and resource management at a strategic level over the coming two decades, focusing on resources and society, economic influences and the movement towards a carbon based policy system and the implications this may have on waste related targets, indicators and monitoring systems. Key sectors were targeted for their views specifically retailers, the food sector, and those dealing with scare resources (for example IT and electronics industry). This session provided an overarching introduction which the three subsequent workshops then took further, focusing on a specific issue or challenge. [Download agenda and presentations (3.97MB Zip file)]

    Future Waste Composition

    –focusing on how changes to product design, consumer behaviour in terms of demand for products, and a move towards a low carbon economy will impact upon the direction of travel for managing waste streams, from collection, to reprocessing, to treatment and finally disposal. [Download agenda and presentations (3.43MB Zip file)]

    Future Manufacturing Industries

    –this focused on the resource aspect of manufacturing and changes in technology and product design and the impact that they have on raw materials supply and demand, and the impact this has on the resource flows and the resource management landscape. [Download agenda and presentations (6.99MB Zip file)]

    Future Waste Infrastructure

    –this focused on ensuring a waste and resource management infrastructure remains fit for purpose in the long term, focusing on how we can future proof our systems and contracts. [Download agenda and presentations (1.02MB Zip file)]

Beasley Associates Ltd, telephone: 07946 217275 email:
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