More Than Recycling 09 was a fairly grand event held in the new Concert Hall in Perth, which is smart venue with lots of rooms and a large foyer and main hall.
I attended the day as more than just an interested visitor: I was one of the speakers at a “parallel session” on Resource Efficiency alongside two other speakers. The parallel sessions covered various different topics and took place between the main attractions, which included a presentation from the new Scottish Minister for the Environment – Roseanna Cunningham:
Delegates could decide which of the session topics was of most interest to them and attend accordingly. We attracted around 20 people in each of our sessions, which seemed like a decent number considering the other parallel sessions were on potentially more pressing subjects like funding.
It’s always difficult to get the balance right between promoting your own agenda and properly addressing the issues at hand. for example CRNS (who hosted the event) asked us to discuss what changes we could envisage over the next 5-10 years with regards to the flow of materials and resources in the Scottish economy. I was only really able to touch on that in relation to my work with WAB, as I wouldn’t want to try and bluff my way through such a complex issue. So I said what I thought the changes would be to businesses and waste such as targets for Business Waste in line with current targets for municipal waste and a few other bits and pieces.
The presentations will all be made available on the CRNS website shortly apparently, should you wish to read it in more detail.
All in all it was a very successful day, attended by many of the great and the good within the business support industry plus some of the movers and shakers from the Scottish Government. I could see some of the former making very serious points to some of the latter about how much good work they’re doing and how much value they’re eeking out of every pound sent their way. Maybe I should have done the same…
In any case, it was a positive day for the future of community based reuse and recycling services. By the way, we try to list as many as possible in our directory so if you’ve got business waste and can’t find a traditional route for recycling it, do consider contacting the CRNS or using our directory to try and find an innovative solution.
One of the discussions during the day was on whether Zero Waste is achievable and one of the best points I heard, from Hanna Hislop who’s a policy officer with the Green Alliance, was that we need to make sure we don’t let Energy to Waste schemes become too much a part of the solution – after all it’s barely cleaner than burning coal.
Zero Waste has to be an embodiment of the principles that allow us to have a cleaner, sustainable future – it’s not a buzz word or something we should achieve with trickery or stat-fiddling.
I’ll get back off my soap-box.