It seems that last spring some circular seeds have begun to sprout. There have been two major events involving CircE LP Regione Lombardia: the 3rd Circular Change Conference in Kostanjevica na Krki and Maribor (Slovenia), May 10-11 and the 4th Symposium on Urban Mining and Circular Economy (SUM) in Bergamo (Lombardy, Italy), May 21-23.
The Circular Change Conference has been an impressive success, with the nice venues of Kostanjevica (a cultural heritage town) and the Old Puppet Theatre in Maribor to host over 60 speakers from Slovenia, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland and more. The organizer, Ladeja Godina Košir, can be proud for the participation of the Prime Minister of Slovenia Miro Cerar, for inspiring lectures from Janez Potočnik (former EU Commisioner) and Jocelyn Blériot (Ellen MacArthur Foundation), and for countless interventions distributed in parallel workshop; one central focus of the second day in Maribor was the connection of Circular Economy goals with national roadmaps, either recently approved or underway. CircE Lead Partner Regione Lombardia's Dario Sciunnach took part in the "Smart Cities" workshop, chaired by Prof. Emilija Stojmenova; Dario's speech was about the biowaste management in the Milan metropolitan area, a best case worldwide for a city over 1M inhabitants. The second day in Maribor was preceded by a quick visit to the Wcycle municipal waste treatment plant, which was brand new and almost ready to start at the time of the visit (today it is actually working).
No less successful and exciting, just about ten days later, was the SUM2018 in Bergamo. Organized every two years by the International Waste Working Group, and strictly connected to the editorial board of the journals "Waste Management" (Elsevier) and "Detritus", the symposium will soon become yearly as in the odd years it will move to the Far East (the 2019 edition is scheduled in Sozhou, China). The symposium, after two plenary lectures by Prof. Marco Frey (Sant'Anna, Pisa) and Floriana La Marca (EIT Raw Materials), split in up to five parallel sessions spanning from scientific insights on the recovery of definite waste types (inerts, WEEE, biowaste...) to legal, social and policy aspects of a modern waste management. Regione Lombardia, a supporter and promoter of the symposium, participated to the opening addresses with the Regional Minister for the Environment, Raffaele Cattaneo, and animated a two-hours session in which the CircE project was presented, with contributions from the Lombardy stakeholders Centro di Coordinamento RAEE (represented by Relight - WEEE recovery), CAUTO (food waste prevention) and CentroCot (textile recycling). On the third day, visits to the nearby facilities of Montello (plastic & biowaste recovery) and Viscolube (exhausted mineral oil regeneration) were opened to the symposium attendees.
Circular Change Conference (in English): https://medium.com/@danielnewton_58284/circular-change-an-insight-into-the-circular-economy-from-slovenia-a4ee171ee72f
Circular Change Conference (in Italian): https://www.etribuna.com/eportale/it/2014-03-20-23-48-00/31279-slovenia-conclusa-la-terza-conferenza-internazionale-sull-economia-circolare.html
SUM 2018 (in English): https://www.urbanmining.it/