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Midlands tackles waste crisis

ICE news

MIDLANDS CIVIL engineers are set to take senior civil servants to task over the looming crisis in waste management next month when ICE Midlands hosts a conference on the topic.

Some 19Mt of waste is generated each year in the West Midlands and new legislation such as the EU Landfill Directive is forcing a major rethink on waste disposal habits.

The conference has been jointly organised by Midlands region and the West Midlands Regional Technical Advisory Body for Waste (RTAB). It builds on the ICE's State of the West Midlands and State of the Nation reports published in June (NCE 17 June).

The reports highlighted the 'ticking time bomb' facing the region and the country as a whole. The Midlands report said the waste situation had worsened in the previous year.

Waste generation is growing by 3% each year and it is estimated that landfill capacity within the West Midlands will run out in around eight years.

The conference, West Midlands Waste Management:responding to the challenge, will examine in detail the issues facing the region.

The morning session will focus on capacity in the region and will include two studies commissioned by RTAB that look at the area's existing treatment capacity and what needs to be created.

Claude Bodenham, chairman of the West Midlands Regional Assembly Regional Environmental Partnership, will chair the morning session.

The afternoon session will address the challenge and examine policy and practice affecting those engaged in the construction industry, including clients, engineers, planners and surveyors. Chair will be ICE Midlands chairman Christina Jackson.

The Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs will be represented throughout the day by waste strategy division head Lindsay Cornish and hazardous waste policy head Andy Howarth.

Other speakers will include representatives from RTAB, the Environment Agency, landfill operators and local authorities.

The conference is supported by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and the West Midlands Regional Assembly. It is being held at the Midlands Engineering Centre, Austin Court, Birmingham, on 10 November. Entry is free but booking is required. Register at www. ice-midlands. org. uk.

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