Waste Management in the Focus of Controversial Interests
Waste materials represent sources of energy and reserves of raw materials and may thus be considered „natural resources“. Acceptance of this fact by us and appreciation of waste will affect the way in which waste is considered and treated. However, at present
• recovery of waste materials is not performed in 100% of cases. The proportion of waste that is not recovered has to be landfilled.
• in the fields of manufacturing and production, waste prevention measures only serve an economic purpose.
• in the products sector, waste prevention schemes do not comply with consumer practise.
• there is no difficulty encountered in discarding fully functional and useable goods.
• the service life of products is becoming increasingly shorter, and products are also becoming more difficult to repair.
Unless this situation changes waste quantities will increase even further. Over the last decades waste management has evolved from the simple transportation of wastes out of the settlement areas to dump sites to complex disposal systems including recycling, waste pre-treatment and waste prevention applying a wide range of technologies. The wealth of possibilities available for the management of waste have lead to controversial and partly vehement discussions as to which option should be taken or which technology should be applied. Controversial interests exist at different levels including the ecological, economical and social dimension and their specific representatives. Scientists representing different fields of expertise often adopt adverse positions.
To address these controversial perceptions and conflicting views the 1st BOKU Waste Conference has been scheduled. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum for debate and exchange of information between the different stakeholders.
The conference will focus on controversial positions in Waste Prevention and Waste Collection, Organic Waste, Incineration Residues, and Life Cycle Assessment in Waste Management.