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New CIWM president calls for focus on C&I waste

The incoming President of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), David Beadle, has called for the industry to improve its focus on commercial and industrial (C&I) waste.

Speaking at his inauguration, which took place at the House of Commons yesterday (15 October), Beadle warned there is a real risk of a gap in infrastructure to handle C&I by 2020. Referring to a forthcoming CIWM report on the issue, he said a lack of good quality data would impact on our ability to accurately plan and deliver the facilities needed. He said the sector was “poorly informed”, adding that “this situation, coupled with inadequate mechanisms to support larger than local planning and the impact on investment opportunities posed by feedstock uncertainty, are major challenges for C&I waste”.

Calling on the industry to work together to address these challenges, the incoming 98th President of CIWM said the organisation will be putting its weight behind electronic duty of care as a valuable tool for data collection in the future, and will also take a lead in developing best practice to ensure a more consistent approach to forecasting.

Addressing 140 industry figures, Beadle stated: “We also need governments to set achievable but ambitious targets… and we need to know what it is we are trying to achieve on C&I waste as much as we do on municipal wastes.”

Referencing other priorities for the year ahead, he said the organisation would continue to push on skills and virtual learning, the need to maintain the focus on tackling waste crime, and CIWM’s role in a number of current health and safety initiatives.

Moving towards ‘the holy grail’ of the circular economy

Looking farther ahead, he said waste prevention is the next big challenge and called on Defra to show more vision and leadership on the matter: “We wait to see the full prevention programme from Defra, but the deadline is looming. As it stands, we believe their plans are weak and that we will achieve less in waste prevention than we otherwise could.

 “In moving towards resource efficiency, resource security and the holy grail of the circular economy, our work will probably never be completely done... As an industry we continue to mature, working together on common issues such as health and safety, skills and tackling waste crime. But we need to do more, especially where we can see under-performance as seems likely in the C&I waste market.

“There is no room for criminals, slip shod standards, adhocracy and guesswork which undermine the importance and value of what we have to achieve. We have to work together and that’s what I will be making the priority in my year as CIWM President.”

Industry support

Responding to Beadle’s speech, Jacob Hayler, economist for the Environmental Services Association (ESA) supported CIWM’s investigation into C&I data: “The industry has long known that commercial waste data is patchy to say the least and supports CIWM’s calls for improvements in this area.

“A key finding of the investigation seems to be that, contrary to other reports, the UK is actually heading for significant under-capacity in waste treatment. This shows us how pressing the need for investment in waste infrastructure remains if we are to maximise the use of our valuable resources and divert as much material from landfill as possible.”

Speaking at the inauguration Steve Lee commented: “We are delighted to welcome David as CIWM President 2013/14. He brings a wealth of both public and private-sector experience to the role and his strong focus on improving the investment landscape for waste facilities and on skills and education will help to inform CIWM’s important work in these areas over the coming year.”

Beadle, who takes over from John Skidmore, has worked in the waste industry for thirty-two years, and was appointed as managing director of Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (NEWS) Ltd in 1993.

Read David Beadle’s full inaugural address.