Will the U.S. Ever Realize Europe’s High Diversion Rates? Annual NY Solid Waste and Recycling Conference

BOLTON LANDING, NY – BOLTON LANDING, NY – This year’s plenary sessions at the Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations’ Conference and Trade Show at The Sagamore will capture the stark contrast between Europe’s high diversion rates and our domestic dependence on landfill disposal. The morning keynote panel will highlight the top rung in the EPA waste hierarchy — reduction of waste, in this case food waste. In the afternoon plenary, Covanta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Paul Gilman, Ph.D., will explore another component of the sustainable materials management hierarchy — energy recovery. Covanta is a world leader in energy-from-waste and recently opened a state-of-the-art facility in Dublin, Ireland.

“These plenary sessions are designed to set the stage for continued discussion and debate throughout the conference, which runs from May 20-23, 2018,” said Meg Morris, Chairperson of the Federation. “I’m sure Dr. Gilman will do a great job instigating and inviting discussion about how the U.S. could benefit from following the European Union (EU) hierarchy more closely.”

Dr. Gilman will speak to the policy differences between Europe’s high recycling and energy recovery rates and the United States’ heavy reliance on landfills. As waste management options are being evaluated relative to energy, materials recovery, and GHG emissions, there may be opportunity for the U.S. and Canada to reap significant benefits through an integrated approach incorporating energy recovery for post recycled waste, following the EU model.

Leading European countries, such as Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands, have demonstrated high recycling rates of 60% and greater while using the remaining materials for energy production. The U.S. and Canada could see significant energy savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by reaching a 60% diversion level. Dr. Gilman’s session will quantify these benefits, and review the successful (and unsuccessful) policy mechanisms of the European Union and other localities that have made significant progress towards more sustainable waste management.

Breakout sessions on waste to energy (WTE) systems will feature technologies and capital refurbishments to prolong the life of WTE facilities and maintain the system’s role in the circular economy.

Last year, over 600 participants from New York, other northeast states, Canada and Europe attended the Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations’ Conference and Trade Show. Register by April 17 online at https://conference.nyfederation.org/attendees/on-line-registration/ to qualify for a free gift and registration discount. Since 2000, the Conference and Trade Show has been held at The Sagamore, a historic four-diamond resort on Lake George. One of New York’s landmark hotels, The Sagamore is situated on its own 80-acre island and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations is the umbrella organization for the NYS Association for Reduction, Reuse & Recycling, the NYS Association for Solid Waste Management, and the Solid Waste Association of North America – NYS Chapter. Its goals are to develop recommendations for appropriate public policy for consideration by state and federal representatives, as well as to provide education, training, and networking opportunities through its annual solid waste and recycling conference. For more information please visit our website at www.nyfederation.org