5:30pm - 6:30pm




Free to attend

Hosted by the CIWEM South Western branch

Event description

To celebrate World Soil Day on 5 December, the CIWEM South Western branch is hosting an evening webinar with Professor Mark Fitzsimons from the University of Plymouth who will be reviewing the work being done on artificial soils.

Soil degradation is a critical and growing global problem. Increase in the world population has added to pressure on soil, and its natural capital faces continuing decline. Within the European Union (EU), the legislative framework on waste management is provided by the EU Waste Framework Directive. The Directive sets the following waste hierarchy to be applied as a priority order in member states: prevention, preparing for reuse, recycling, other recovery and disposal. As such, disposal to landfill is the least favoured option meaning that a large amount of biodegradable waste must be diverted from landfills to other organic waste management practices.

Artificial soils offer a potential route for the recycling of waste materials and their associated capital, within the terrestrial environment, and potential mixtures of large volume mineral and organic green waste have been evaluated for high (horticulture/agriculture) and low (amenity/restoration) value markets. This webinar will assess the feasibility of new soils composed from these materials and consider the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Register for the evening webinar

About the speaker

Professor Mark Fitzsimons

Professor Fitzsimons is a professor of environmental chemistry at the University of Plymouth. With a background in the study of complex marine and freshwater systems he has researched the occurrence and environmental behaviour of, for example, nitrogen and phosphorus in surface waters from remote oceanic environments to river waters. This has included simple molecules such as amino acids through to pharmaceutical compounds. His group demonstrated an environmental pathway for the complete breakdown of benzodiazepines, a major class of prescribed pharmaceuticals (e.g. Valium) in the aquatic environment, the first time that this was achieved.

He has studied the functioning of soils over the past 10 years with an emphasis on the performance of constructed (artificial) soils, focussing on their performance and the chemistry of key parameters, comparing their functionality to those of natural soils. He also works with businesses to investigate the feasibility of making soils from inert waste materials and provide sustainable solutions to waste management alongside opportunities for income generation.

Booking and joining information

This event is open to members and non-members of CIWEM.

This webinar will be hosted on the Zoom platform and will be recorded. Please note that registrations will close 24 hours before the event starts. If you have not registered before that time, unfortunately we cannot add you to the event. You will receive an email with joining instructions after you have successfully registered for the webinar and the registration has been approved by our team. If you have any questions about your booking or would like to cancel your attendance, please contact barbara.woods@ciwem.org.

If you have any queries, please contact Carmen von Einem at Carmen.voneinem@aquaconsultants.com.

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