The second Mutual Learning event on Information and Communication Technologies in waste management took place in Santander on 15 and 16 March and was attended by more than 30 participants representing 14 cities and regions.
Hosted by the Municipality of Santander, the event gathered the URBAN-WASTE project’s 11 pilot cities and regions, as well as representatives of other cities and similar projects representing Porto, Seville and Chania (Crete) on 16 March. Opened by Ignacio Quiros, the Councilor for Environment for the city of Santander and Blanca Perez Delgado, the Councilor for Environment and Security at the government of the Canary Islands and the coordinator of the URBAN-WASTE project, the seminar explored ICT solutions in waste management.
The Municipality of Santander gave a comprehensive presentation of the tools already implemented in their city, which was accompanied by an explanatory tour of the city where the participants could see these solutions implemented in everyday operations. Guest speakers included Paulo Rodrigues, the operational projects implementation support unit manager for LIPOR in Porto, who presented their plans in terms of ICT integration in waste management in the city of Porto. Jose Morales, the research and development project manager for Wellness Telecom who presented the outcomes of a similar project “ewas” which developed its own real-time data collection from the containers through the installation of remote sensors. A panel discussion, which was enriched by the participation of Pablo de Castro, the president of the Cantabrian ICT companies, enabled the speakers and participants to wrap-up on this trending topic in waste management and make conclusions for future developments in this direction. The overall conclusion is that ICT integration in waste management is inevitable and this is what will make waste management more efficient, especially during the collection phase, as it should help optimising the operations and be an infrastructural asset to current practices. At the same time, ICT tools should contribute to the overall development and establishment of smart cities, being well integrated in other cross-communication platforms, allowing synergies between waste management and energy, transport, water supply and treatment operations.
The previous day, 15 March, was reserved for the URBAN-WASTE pilot cities and regions. Discussions focused on the project’s own waste management application, currently being developed by the University of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. This session allowed the cities and regions to contribute to its developments by bringing forward their own needs and specificities. The session also featured a very extensive presentation and overview of Gender & ICT given by Suan Buckingham, the gender auditor for the project in which she reflected on the trends and statistics when it comes to the use and access to ICT tools based on gander, as well as suggestions how to integrate gender into policy making processes and access and use of ICT tools in general.
The presentations from the meeting will be available shortly.