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The Solution: Zero Waste Conference, Madrid

Solution: Zero Waste Conference, Madrid


On Friday, April 31st, 150 people gathered at Medialab Prado in Madrid for the Solution: Zero Waste Conference. The meeting brought together members of the Zero Waste Europe Network, university scholars, zero waste activists and municipal representatives to discuss a wide range of zero waste strategies and examples.

The event was held in Medialab Prado, a civic laboratory for the production, research and broadcasting of cultural projects, aiming to explore the forms of experimentation and collaborative learning emerging from the digital network. This space provides a good background for a day's conversation and discussion. Carlotta Cataldi provides live hand-drawn illustrations throughout the day to portray the ongoing conversations and provide a lasting visual performance for the meeting. Luke Blazejewski also took wonderful photos to record the success of this event.

The event was kicked off by José Antonio Díaz Lázaro, the chief coordinator of the Environmental Program of the Madrid City Council, who explained the importance of good waste management for a city like Madrid. This led to the question of “Zero Waste at the Local and Global Level: Utopia or Reality?” in the first meeting, in which Joan Marc Simon, Director of Zero Waste Europe, emphasized the success and development of the Zero Waste City Network, while Diana Osuna came from The Madrid Zero Waste Platform discussed the challenges and opportunities of organizing zero waste in and outside the city.

The next conference focused on the importance of organic waste collection to the zero-waste strategy, and the speaker introduced the progress in various situations. The case of the large city of Milan (1.3 million people) was put forward by Enzo Favoino, chairman of the European Zero Waste Scientific Committee, although it is not a “zero waste city” that has made significant progress in the separate collection of organic matter. Ainhoa ​​Arrozpide Landa from Zero Zabor in the Basque Country talked about the evolution of their movement in Gipuzkoa. Other talks in the conference explored countless ways to manage organic waste at the local level, from the goats in the municipalities of El Boalo – Cerceda – Mataelpino in Madrid to the measures being taken in Catalonia and Pontevedra. At the end of the meeting, Beatriz Martín from the Composting Network emphasized the importance of decentralized composting at the municipal level.

Part 3 gives an overview of the maintenance and reuse field by listening to the story of the Barcelona Millor que Nou repair shop, the process of restoration and reuse for social and environmental benefits, and the need for reuse in Spanish waste legislation.

The fourth meeting of the day focused on some new victories of the Deposit Return System (DRS). As explained by Samantha Harding of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), from the exciting initiative of Valencia by Julià Álvaro to the new life plans and progress in the UK and Scotland. The meeting also looked at the overall picture of the DRS program and manufacturer responsibility.

The last meeting of the day focused on the challenges and opportunities faced by zero-waste cities and those cities eager to join the zero-waste road. The conference was opened by Gabriele Folli from the Parma Environmental Committee in Italy, where a city with a population of 200,000 has just reached the milestone single collection rate of 80%. The meeting then discussed the problems Madrid faced when trying to overhaul its waste management system. Followed by Franco Llobera and Vegetable Network's agricultural composting grassroots project in Madrid and Raúl Urquiaga's local composting story.

As this day approached, people began to ask questions, and the public made many interesting contributions. Joan Marc Simon then ended the meeting

View presentations and videos of the meeting

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