After Tom and I attended RWM in 2017, our first foray into the world of waste events as Dsposal, we said we didn’t think we’d exhibit at RWM 2018. The thing we’d liked the most about the event was the seminars, so we said if we were to have a presence at all at this year’s show it would only be if we were involved with seminar content. The opportunity to do that came in the form of a partnership with WasteAid to run two days of seminars at RWM in the Waste Matters Theatre. Not only did we get to support the amazing work WasteAid do and help them get their message out to a wider audience, but we got to put Dsposal on the map too and really highlight how we’re different from the other software offerings out there.
The Waste Matters theatre was great but ...
The downside to managing a theatre and stand for two days is that you don’t really get any time to walk about and chat to folks or visit other seminars. The plus side is that we had some great content in our theatre and a lot of people came by our stand to talk to us. It was a world away from our situation at RWM 2017 (and an even bigger difference to where we were 3 years ago cycling through Amish country in Ohio). Last year we were just starting to make connections in the wider waste world. It’s when we met Ray Georgeson who invited us to join the Resource Association. Ray has been a great ally ever since. This year we knew a lot more people and got invited to both the Gala Dinner and the Let’s Recycle drinks party.
Highlights of the conference
My top 5 highlights of this year’s RWM, in no particular order are:
- Sitting on a panel with Ray Georgeson - Resource Association (chair), Jon Hastings - London Borough of Newham, Rachel Scarisbrick - Keep Britain Tidy, Alistair Paul - Defra, Dan Cooke - Pennon Group/ESA discussing waste crime and duty of care following Dr Jane Beasley’s brilliant presentation of our Tip of the Binberg report. The theatre was nearly full, with the audience asking really great questions and the subject was something we at Dsposal care deeply about.
- Dsposal being asked to become a Right Waste Right Place Ambassador – we’re the first tech company to be an ambassador and we’re thrilled to be working with the ESA on such an important topic that is so close to our values
- Being approached by a number of local authorities asking if they can signpost people to Dsposal if they need waste removal services and requesting that we put their household waste recycling centres (HWRC) on the platform too. You can tell an HWRC apart from regular waste companies as they have a blue badge saying HWRC in the top right corner of their profile tile.
- The panel debate chaired by Tom on closing the loops on the Circular Economy. Such an interesting topic and expertly discussed by our diverse panellists covering materials from plastics to aluminium, from textiles to WEEE and taking in not just the recycling loop, but also the design, repair, reuse and maintenance loops. Despite being in the graveyard shift of the show the panel were lively and the audience were really engaged challenging our speakers with some really excellent questions.
- Steve Davis’s after dinner speaker slot at the Gala Dinner - he is much funnier than he looks!
Barely left Waste Matters or Dsposal
I wish I could give you a better round up of the other talks and events going on at the show, but I barely left our stand and theatre. Aside from the list above the team also really enjoyed speaking with many brilliant waste businesses looking to win more business and seeing the value of claiming their profiles on Dsposal. It was fantastic to be able to spend time chatting with the those from the businesses we seek to serve most, hearing about their problems and what they see the benefits of Dsposal being and feedback on new features that would be of help. We also had a lot of other really fruitful conversations with some very interesting potential business collaborations and we’re excited about what they could lead to in the coming months.