Curated Session: Circular Economy

Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Resource Management to Move toward a Circular Economy

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
8:00 – 9:30
Convention Center

Moderator: TBD

In 2015, ISWA’s Task force on Resource Management produced six groundbreaking reports providing insights concerning waste management as we shift towards a circular economy. Following up on these reports, ISWA started a project called “Barriers to Sustainable Resource Management”, with results for the first time presented to the public in this special session. The purpose of the project was to identify and address barriers to using secondary raw materials in the production of new products, through the investigation of two test products (apparel and plastic packaging). The project also considered the barriers for recyclability, reuse, refurbishing and repair of products when approaching end of life. The project seeks to link the waste management sector with manufacturers and designers to work together along the value chain toward a more circular economy and better resource management.

This session will present the outcome of the project and complement it with other presentations of present trends, cases and the role of the waste management sector when it comes to the circular economy. These inspiring presentations will lead to a panel discussion addressing opportunities for and barriers to sustainable resource management and business models for a circular economy.

The session concludes with a panel discussing the barriers to sustainable resource management and the way forward toward a circular economy, presenting the perspectives of multiple stakeholders.


Björn Appelqvist, Ramboll. Chair of the ISWA Working Group on Recycling and Waste Minimisation

Bjorn Appelqvist

Bio forthcoming.

John Skinner, Environmental Consultant, John Skinner Environmental Consulting, LLC (former ISWA President and former executive director of SWANA)

John Skinner

John H. Skinner is an independent environmental consultant working out of Washington, D.C. He retired as the executive director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) in April 2015, a position which he held since 1996. Prior to that, Dr. Skinner was a senior advisor to the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris, France, for four years. He was a senior executive of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., from 1972 through 1992. He is a past president of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and was a member of its Board from 2010-2016. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineering Member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Presidential Distinguished Meritorious and Distinguished Executive Awards from Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He received a NASA Fellowship to study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he received a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in engineering science from Hofstra University, where he graduated cum laude and with honors. He has published widely in the solid waste and environmental fields and is the co-editor of two books on international solid waste management programs.

Ole Morten Petersen, Managing Director of DAKOFA (Waste and Resource Network Denmark)

Ole Petersen

Bio forthcoming.