Time for RWM to show what it's made of
As I write this, I'm heading up to Birmingham for the annual RWM exhibition (in association with CIWM) for a week of waste at the NEC. It is always a good, busy, solid show with lots going on. And its recent merger with CIWM â€“ which used to run the Futuresource event down in London â€“ will only add to its bustling pace.
With over 600 exhibitors this year, and the last official visitor pre-registration count reaching 12,000, I expect the aisles will be heaving with foot traffic. Always a good indicator of national mood, twitter has been firing on all cylinders with pre-show nerves and excitement this past week. There is a real sense of heightened expectation about what the show will deliver for exhibitors and visitors alike over the next three days.
So, what are the reasons for this, dare we call it, hype? Well firstly, the industry had long been calling for one big annual waste show, instead of the two or three it was struggling to juggle before. Now the industry has got its wish, will RWM deliver the magic bullet that all our hopes are pinned upon?
Second, waste is in the ascendency in terms of the political and sustainability circles it operates within. The term ‘zero waste' has become an aspiration for not just the sector as a whole, but society itself. This rising star will only continue, as we extract more and more value from our rubbish and turn it into a resource.
Third, there seems to be a bubbling hub of hi-tech innovation at the moment, as novel solutions to new or challenging waste streams begin to emerge from the R&D labs and get channelled into demonstrator projects or pilot plants. The technology that we always knew was there in terms of refining waste treatment and recovery processes is starting to make itself known on a wider scale.
All in all, there appears to be a new found confidence in the waste market – a sense of positivity and purpose going forward. Whether the engine is policy drivers or commercial reality, this sector knows it is on the cusp of a fundamental shift towards creative resource management. The timing is just perfect as RWM prepares to open its doors tomorrow.
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