International experts convene to move forward on mercury waste management

International experts convene to move forward on mercury waste management

VIENNA, 11 September 2018 - The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has organized an international expert group meeting on mercury waste management. The meeting brought together more than 75 representatives from the private sector, member states, international organizations, academia and civil society.

During his opening remarks, LI Yong, the UNIDO Director General, stressed that “an organized and sound waste management system that starts with segregation and collection, leads to treatment, including reuse, and recycling, and finally disposal will be needed in order to deal with great amount of mercury waste generated.”

Rossana Silva-Repetto, Secretary Executive of the Minamata Convention, emphasized that “the environmentally sound management of mercury waste is a fundamental challenge that we all face.”

The event was supported by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland and the Ministry of Environment of Japan, and was staged in cooperation with Nomura Kohsan, the largest mercury-recycling company in Japan.

Mitsugu Saito, Deputy Director of the Environment Department of Japan, concluded the opening ceremony by highlighting the great opportunities for cooperation between UNIDO, developing countries, donors and the private sector in the field of mercury waste management.

Participants engaged in a number of technical sessions on interim storage, mercury waste treatment technologies and final disposal of treated mercury waste.

Speakers agreed that currently there is a need for support to developing countries in setting up facilities to address different hazardous streams, including mercury waste. In addition, representatives of the private sector presented different environmentally friendly technologies, which can be deployed in many different settings to handle mercury waste.

Finally, representatives of all UN institutions present at the meeting acknowledged the need for an integrated and coordinated approach when working in the field of mercury waste.

For more information, please contact:

Gabriela Eigenmann

Industrial Development Expert

UNIDO Emerging Compliance Regimes Division

Email