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Weekly column by EUA's Chief Executive

Last week I met with the Chartered Institute of Waste Management and the Future Water Association for a discussion on the circular economy, hosted by WRc plc - one of our members. I must confess to knowing little about the concept beforehand, but recognised that it was a topic that was bubbling under the surface of many organisations.

 

So, I did my homework, well pre-reading of material from a couple of different sources within our sector to get a feel for where they were coming from and what future they saw for the concept. Frankly, I wanted to know whether it was a "fad" or something more substantial.

 

With topics like this, there are often two outlooks that spring forward, either - "it's all a load of nonsense and it will never work" or "right, let's change everything we do". I suspect both are wrong, but to ignore the concept would be a mistake.

 

I genuinely would like to hear from you, member organisations and people who work in the sector, to get a picture of what discussions (if any) you have had on the circular economy. Perhaps you have been inspired by the work of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, tell me what has been going on at mikefoster@eua.org.uk

 

We agreed to meet again, and look at one aspect of the approach, namely the desire to eliminate the concept of waste. Your waste is someone's food. I am keen to explore this more, with a view to increasing the amount of gas we can obtain from waste - either biogas from anaerobic digestion or bio SNG. Making waste the feedstock of the gas grid helps reduce the demand for imported gas and makes gas consumed lower carbon too. I will let you know how we get on, but in return, let me have your view on the impact of the circular economy.

Best wishes

Mike Foster, CE

 

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