Päivä 7 – Day 7

On Tuesday we had to wake up quite early since the excursion started at 10 a.m. After a quick breakfast on the hostel’s rooftop terrace we took the metro to the office of Urbaser. There we met our friendly hosts, Albert Bocchetto Mane and Yaili Meneses Torres.

Urbaser is one of the biggest companies in the field of environmental and waste management services. It works in 27 countries all over the world. The company was founded in 1989 and sold to a Chinese company CNTY in 2017. Urbaser also works in Finland and has offices all over the country.

Urbaser focuses on urban services, as well as waste and water treatment. One of their main goals is to develop a society of zero waste by working together with governments to improve the education and knowledge of recycling.

Our host told us about the waste management problems in different countries and what kind of projects they have going on for example in Maledives, Ghana and New Zealand. In the capital of Maledives the waste is dumped straight to the ocean and that is why Urbaser is planning to build a new waste management plant to solve the issue. Knowledge and attitudes of citizens affect how waste is managed, therefore, Urbaser is trying to spread information of proper recycling.

The range of work Urbaser does varies from hand-sweeping streets to managing hundreds of tons of waste in their waste treatment plants. Without even knowing it we had already seen Urbaser’s work in practise since TERSA, which we visited last Thursday, is owned by them.

Urbaser has also developed their own method of calculating their carbon footprint and the company is committed to making innovations that contribute to sustainable development. We were told about their new way to produce oils and fuels from recycled plastics, which is not yet profitable in large scale but a very interesting possibility for the future.

People working with environmental services are doing a significant work for the world. However, we were encouraged to be passionate and patient in what we do. Since our host is working with international projects, the work includes a lot of travelling. This can be a bit tricky, but after all it’s worth it.

After the thought-provoking presentation we continued the conversation over lunch in a nearby restaurant. We got also some tips on, what to do in Madrid. We would warmly like to thank Urbaser for this nice day.