The fourth edition of the Symposium on Urban Mining and Circular Economy, SUM 2018, organised by the International Waste Working Group (IWWG – www.iwwg.eu) and promoted by the Lombardy region with the scientific support of the Universities of Padova, Bergamo and several foreign universities, was held from 21st to 23rd May 2018 in the Congress Center Papa Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo (Italy).
The Symposium was attended by 230 delegates from 30 different countries, who took part in discussions relating to the recovery of materials in the context of a circular economy, to the need to look beyond separate collection, and on the current consumer-based approaches adopted.
The topics of major interest were focused on Landfill Mining, techniques applied in the recovery of reusable materials through the excavation of old landfills, on Urban Mining in the context of a circular economy, on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), and, as is increasingly the case in scientific conferences, on papers relating to Developing Countries that promoted a lively debate. The sessions devoted to food waste were particularly well attended and analysed the implications in terms of generation of emissions such as CO2, and focussed on identifying potential unconventional means of reuse with an aim to producing new biocompatible materials.
A great success was enjoyed by the NetWorking Sessions (NeWS): informal sessions organised to promote discussion and debate on a series of specific topics in the light of a circular economy (quantity-based tariff system for wastes, different strategies adopted throughout the EU, food waste management, etc.) and to create new international working groups.
The closure of the conference was celebrated with a special evening at Monastero del Carmine, where delegates had an elegant dinner accompanied by a theatrical show performed by Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo.
The technical tours represented a final moment of study: