With five directors, vice-mayors and other representatives, more than 25 participants from the URBAN-WASTE pilot cities and regions, as well as project consortium members and a coverage by half a dozen different media and press, one could easily claim the 6th Mutual Learning event in Nice an absolute success and an important milestone.
The reason why this particular Mutual Learning event attracted so much attention was the launch of the URBAN-WASTE Charter of Commitments which complements the waste management solutions and measures the 11 pilot cities and regions will be implementing over the course of this year. It will be an added value to these efforts and engagement the pilots will show in order to improve the sustainability of their tourism offer and introduce certain environmentally friendly practices. This meeting was important and significant for another reason – it marked exactly the half of the project’s total 3 years.
After signing the Charter on the first day of the Mutual Learning event, which you can read more about here, the pilot cities and regions which were present at the meeting presented the measures they chose to implement. These choices came after a number of Communities of Practices organised in each of the pilots, which brought together the key stakeholders in the field of tourism and waste management in order to confirm the necessity, feasibility and applicability of the measures. In order to achieve the envisaged goals and objectives, Ambiente Italia and University of Las Palmas held a short training focused on the implementation of the measures and how to address certain challenges the pilots might have. WasteApp, a newly developed mobile app received special attention as it is the one measure which will appear in all 11 pilots.
Another measure developed within the project’s framework saw its presentation in Nice. The Food waste tracker, developed by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences will serve as a tool to track and assess the amounts of food waste created in food providers in the 11 pilots (restaurants, canteens, hotels, etc.). With a practical demonstration, it’s now the pilots’ turn to identify potential partners on this task. Just like every Mutual Learning event, this one had guest experts and speakers. Since the event was covering food waste in touristic areas, Eloise Leclercq presented Oleo-Declic’s business solutions in used cooking oil collection and treatment which is already taking place in several French cities. Sylvain Crouzet who joined us from Saint Tropez, explained the current state of art in this popular French summer destination focusing on tourism’s impacts. He also presented the ongoing campaigns which tackle food waste and littering in general.
The third day was reserved only for the representatives of the Municipalities of Lisbon and Ponta Delgada who stayed in Nice for an additional day of staff exchange, getting familiar with the local waste management practices and solutions by visiting the key facilities and meeting people who are working on these.
The consortium partners are now back in their own cities before they see each other again rather soon, already on 20 and 21 March in Ponta Delgada, Portugal, this time. The next mutual Learning event will cover biowaste treatment and therefore we invite local and regional authorities who are interested to present their examples and practices to get in touch with us.