The Northern Ireland
Waste & Resource Management Conference 2022

Thursday, June 23rd, ICC, Belfast

How the circular economy can impact our green growth and net zero ambitions

Conference Agenda

9:00    Welcome on behalf of CIWM NI by Neil McCauley, Chairperson

        Ministerial Address

9:15    Morning Session Chaired by Chaired by Dr Marcus Gover, Chief Executive Officer, WRAP

9:20    Green Growth Strategy for Northern Ireland

  • In October 2021 the draft Green Growth Strategy was published by the NI Executive setting how we plan to tackle the climate crisis in a balanced way by considering climate, the environment and the economy together.
  • This was consulted upon and will be ready to go back to a new Executive as a final Strategy upon their return.
  • In parallel the Climate Change Bill has been progressing and is currently awaiting Royal Assent.
  • This wide ranging legislation sets ambitious net zero targets and will have a profound impact on future governments and wider society

Kevin Hegarty, Director of Green Growth & Climate Change, Dept of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

9:45    Circular Economy Strategy (Strategic Framework) – Circular Economy will be a big enabler of Green Growth.

  • In 2017 the draft Northern Ireland Industrial Strategy set out the commitment for the Department for the Economy (DfE), working alongside DAERA, to develop a Circular Economy Strategic Framework for Northern Ireland. A Circular Economy will be a complementary and essential part of the transition to a low carbon economy.
  • Keith Forster, Strategic Policy Director at DfE, will provide an overview of the development of a Circular Economy Strategic Framework to date, including; rationale, establishing a robust evidence base, key findings from the Northern Ireland Circularity Gap Report and stakeholder engagement with the public and private sector.
  • Keith will also provide an insight into some of the Framework’s early recommendations, including new ways of approaching established economic structures, the economic opportunities created as we transform from a linear economy and how greater circularity can help to mitigate against climate change and contribute towards net zero commitments.   

Keith Forster, Director, Dept for the Economy, Northern Ireland


10:10   Championing the Resource Revolution

  • In 2021 WRAP published Net Zero: why resource efficiency holds the answers.   Claire will outline the strategies that will be key to delivering net zero in order to keep the world on track to deliver a limited temperature rise of 1.5C.
  • Claire will also give an overview of the key activities WRAP is managing with respect to food, plastics and textiles.

Claire Shrewsbury, Director Insights & Innovation, WRAP

10:35   PANEL DISCUSSION 1 – Will Northern Ireland’s Policy & Plans meet our Circular Economy Ambitions

  • Kevin Hegarty, Director of Green Growth & Climate Change, Dept of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
  • Keith Forster, Director, Dept for the Economy, Northern Ireland
  • Claire Shrewsbury – Director Insights & Innovation, WRAP

10:50   Morning Coffee Break, Exhibition Viewing and Networking


The Transition to Net Zero and the need for new skills and competences in the Resources & Waste Sector – from dinosaurs to a phoenix from the flames and plenty in between!

  • What will the sector look like in 2025 and 2035, what is our role and how will we work?
  • What are the core skills and competences we will need and when will we need them by?
  • The role of CIWM in driving the new skills and securing the training for the sector?
  • Making our sector more attractive to new recruits……
  • What should you be doing to maximise the opportunities for your career in 2025 and beyond?

Dr Adam Read, President of the CIWM

11:45   The End-of-Waste and the Circular Economy

  • How to try and improve the situation in the waste industry
  • How to stop continuing to send perfectly reusable material to landfill
  • How to get to the end of Waste?
  • End of Waste Criteria?
  • A more positive outlook for the circular economy?
  • New innovative technologies
  • Examples in Case Law

Dr Anna Willetts, Partner, Gunnercooke and incoming President of the CIWM

12:10   Developing a Holistic Solution for Northern Ireland’s Residual Waste Streams
        Brett Ross, CEO, RiverRidge


12:35   Where are we going with the packaging reforms? And are we going there together?

  •  The current producer responsibility system for packaging has operated since 1997, but it has never covered the full costs of disposing of packaging waste. Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging (EPR) will move the full cost of dealing with packaging waste from households away from local taxpayers and councils to the packaging producers (applying the ‘polluter-pays principle’), giving producers responsibility for the costs of their packaging throughout its life cycle.
  • Paul will give an update on the status of EPR and what reforms will look like for producers and the waste management industry.

Paul Vanston, Chief Executive, Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN)

1:00    PANEL DISCUSSION 2: Industry views on meeting our Circular Economy Targets

  • Dr Adam Read, President of the CIWM
  • Brett Ross, CEO, RiverRidge
  • Paul Vanston, Chief Executive, Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment

1:15     Lunch, Exhibition Viewing and Networking (Sponsored by RiverRidge)

2:15    Afternoon Session Chaired by Tim Walker, Junior Vice President, CIWM

The Carbon Study FEAD / CEWEP / DWMA
Dr Bärbel Birnstengel has been working for Prognos AG in the Business Unit Business Innovation Region since 2006. The focus of her professional activities and presentation is on;

  • European waste and secondary raw materials-related market and competition analyses
  • Strategic consulting and commercial due diligence.

Dr. Bärbel Birnstengel, Principle, Berlin, Prognos AG


2:45    Carbon metric and beyond: Scotland’s journey with waste metrics

  • There is growing interest between policymakers and waste management professionals to adopt impact-based waste targets and contribute to combating climate change.
  • Scotland was the first devolved nation to develop the Carbon Metric in 2013, a powerful tool that measures the carbon impacts of waste.
  • A few years late, they realised that focusing solely on carbon impacts might lead to the development of policies that shift the problem from climate change to other issues, such as biodiversity loss. That’s why Zero Waste Scotland embarked on an exciting journey in 2020 to go beyond carbon.
  • In this presentation, we’ll introduce the new tool that offers insights into the true environmental cost of waste, and explain how it could be used in designing future policies.

Donald Chapman, Environmental Analyst, Zero Waste Scotland

3:05    How about “Digital waste tracking; transforming our sector”?

  • In the 2018 Resources & Waste Strategy for England, Defra committed to tackling the issue of poor waste data and investigating the feasibility of implementing a digital waste tracking system that could record and report the movement of waste from the producer, through various sites and processes, to its final destination and fate.
  • Anthesis proposed an approach and solution in the feasibility stage which we subsequently transformed into a working prototype in 2020, working with input from the sector and other customers.
  • Digital waste tracking has the potential to be transformational for the sector, shining a light into waste crime, provide the data required to design and monitor policy, and give investors and brands confidence to invest in infrastructure.
  • In this presentation, we will share our thoughts on waste tracking and digitalisation across the sector and how it will capitalise on technological innovation.
  • Consider how implementation of waste tracking and associated technologies could increase efficiency and improve environmental outcomes supporting the transition to the circular economy.

Jamie Warmington, Leads the development of digital tools, Waste Sector, Anthesis



Benchmarking Waste Management in Northern Ireland – How does it compare internationally?

        • Best Practice waste management in Northern Ireland
        • Household & Municipal Waste Treatment Performance
        • International Best Practice
        • Waste Collection and Treatment Costs
        • Regulatory Regime Comparisons
        • Waste Industry Views and Recommendations

Conor Walsh, Recycle NI Secretary

3:45    PANEL DISCUSSION 3: How do we engage the public in meeting our Circular Economy challenges? 

4:00 Conference Ends & Drinks Reception Sponsored by Bailey Waste.