Thank you for coming, we hope you enjoyed our Bilbao menú

After 3 days of intense activity, the 29th edition of the ISWA World Congress has been closed. Between October 7th and 9th more than 1,200 attendees from over 70 countries on 5 continents have gathered in Bilbao to exchange experiences, learn and teach, and to expand their contacts network.

Within the Euskalduna Palace, the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the 65 sessions of the technical scientific program, have taken place, in which more than 270 international experts have taken part.

Guided by presenter Katrina Sichel, the keynote speakers at the opening session (Captain Charles Moore, Nicola Cerantola and Mario Picazo) immediately captured the attention of both the audience and the media, and coincided in a call to action, since no one will solve the environmental problems that we have created ourselves.

The Congress combined the scientific with the artistic, since it also had its artistic side, from the txalaparta, the aurresku and the lyrical recital at the inauguration, and the harp recital in the Atrium of the Guggenheim Museum, to the design of the “tables” for buffets, the exhibition of sculptures made with used tires or the on-site elaboration of an inspiring underwater mural (which will be donated to a Bilbao school) at the main hall.

The scientific-technical program has included marine litter, the 4th industrial revolution (and the growing generation of electronic waste) and its impact on waste management, social inclusion and the circular economy, as well as the usual topics of climeta change and treatment operations (collection and transport, recycling, biological treatment, energy recevery), governance and legal issues and communication and social issues, etc.

This edition has included a special session focused on waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean.

It should be noted that the attention of the attendees has been distributed among all of the 65 scheduled sessions and that all of these sessions have been well received. In addition to the oral sessions, there have been 32 poster presentations and a number of commercial presentations by the exhibiting firms.

During the closing ceremony, ISWA collaboration agreements have been signed with organizations such as the United Nations UNEP or IPMA association and new initiatives such as the agreement with the municipality of Sao Paulo for the reduction of food waste combined with social inclusion of women victims of gender violence.

The ISWA World Congress program has been complemented with various social events, tourist visits and technical visits to different waste treatment facilities.

The service delivered by the Euskalduna Palace (sound technicians, visitor assistance, catering) has been high level. The operation of reconversion of spaces in order to organize the gala dinner on Tuesday was spectacular. Oh, and there were no plates with leftover food nor plastic cups or utensils. How could it be less, the environmental awareness of both the organization and the attendees has been exemplary.

And after the closing of ISWA 2019, it is the turn of ISWA 2020, which will be held in Rotterdam between September 28th and 30th, 2020. We save the date from now and transmit our best wishes to our Dutch colleagues.


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Bizkaia (Spain)