Climathon is a global event that asks all citizens of the participating cities to face challenges linked to environmental sustainability and be part of the solution. Climathon arrived in Cava de’ Tirreni (a town located in the Province of Salerno, in the Campania Region, Italy) thanks to the strong commitment of the Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability of the Cava de’ Tirreni municipality, Nunzio Senatore. Representatives of ENEA (the Italian national agency for new technologies, energy, and sustainable economic development) were also involved namely Eng. Marco Tammaro, who is in charge of the project, Dr. Sabrina Portofino, Dr. Amalia Zucaro and Dr. Gabriella Fiorentino. The project will specifically address the issue of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Dr. Amalia Zucaro and Dr. Gabriella Fiorentino (Laboratory Resources Valorization – Division Resource Efficiency) are academic co-advisors of two ESRs, Mariana Oliveira and Amos Ncube.
The two-day meeting, organized at the historical place called Complesso Monumentale San Giovanni, on 24 and 25 of October 2019, started with a lecture from Prof. Renato Passaro (Department of Engineering – Università degli Studi di Napoli – Parthenope), the academic advisor of the ESR Kevin van Langen. Prof. Passaro talked about the management of the electronic waste cycle. E-waste, WEEE (or e-waste, as it is often called) is one of the fastest-growing waste streams in Europe and the world, much of the waste ending up in illegal waste dumps where it has a terrible effect on public health and the environment. Unfortunately, due to the complex nature of e-waste (characterized by many hazardous chemical substances), recycling of this waste is an expensive process in which a lot of resources are still lost. To make e-waste management more circular, we need to find ways to re-use products, or at least components of products, for as long as possible to avoid generating waste.
The Climathon is an integral part of the implementation of the InnoWEEE and Young Innovators projects, funded by EIT Climate KIC. InnoWEEE aims to increase the collection of electrical and electronic devices through innovative strategies, such as the use of Smart Bins and the development of a web platform. Everything will be tested in three pilot areas, particularly a series of schools in Trentino (Italy), in the county of Bath and North-East Somerset in the United Kingdom and the city of Cava de’ Tirreni. The project aims at enacting awareness campaigns and effective processes to valorize the resources, both through the regeneration and reuse of still usable devices and through the correct recycling and evaluation of valuable materials that can be reintroduced into the production cycle. In addition to ENEA and the three local administrations, the Bruno Kessler Foundation and the companies Ecodom, Metellia Servizi, and Dedagroup (coordinator) in Italy and the Better Points (from the United Kingdom) participate.
I was there, participating and being inspired by the event!