From 9 to 11 November 2021 the Senior Experts of the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Technologies (SCITEC) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), with the support of Fondazione FORMIT, held a Training Programme no. 3 titled “Sustainable management of hazardous chemical and biological waste in Central Asia: open questions, current trends and future opportunities” addressed to all stakeholders of the EU CBRN CoE Project 65 Partner Countries: Mongolia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Due to travel restrictions caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic, the training sessions were held online.
The training involved more than 80 professionals representing key Ministries and Agencies and aimed at discussing and analysing in depth a series of hot topics related to the generation, handling, stockpiling, transportation, treatment and disposal of chemical (C) and biological (B) hazardous waste materials. The discussed themes were selected according to specific requests gathered by the project consortium during the initial fact-finding missions and the previous Training Programmes carried out for the beneficiary countries. The most recent principles on chemical and biological waste management were thus delivered to the attendees, with a special focus on innovative trends for a sustainable management of hazardous waste streams, low-impact technologies and remediation strategies for sites contaminated by hazardous C and/or B pollutants.
During the first day, the scientific team provided the most updated information on sustainable management of hazardous waste streams and asbestos-containing waste material. In collaboration with the Chemistry and Environment Division (Division VI) of the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), Prof. Hemda Garelick presented a special focus on plastics and micro-plastics generated by waste materials.
During the second day, the scientific team presented a survey about the increased waste management in COVID-19-affected environments, with a special focus on alternatives to formaldehyde-containing products in biological and medical laboratories. Then, Prof. Renato Baciocchi from University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy) as CABICHEM Senior Expert examined the protocol for remediation of sites and soils contaminated by hazardous chemical pollutants. Afterwards, Prof. Diane Purchase, as IUPAC delegate, showed the opportunities linked to urban mining and a sustainable treatment of electronic waste streams. Finally, Dr. Yaugen Ryzhykau, EU CBRN CoE Project 65 Team Leader, provided some examples of best practices in the used of thermal technologies for the treatment of highly toxic chemical, biological and medical waste.
During the last day, the project consortium focused on the recovery and disposal of heavy metals and mineral oils as well as on advanced incineration strategies for the treatment of biological and medical waste. Trainees were therefore introduced to the use of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG 2020) by using a mobile app. In the final session, low-impact strategies and alternatives to polluting and hazardous chemicals were proposed to participants.
At the end of the Traning Programme 3, CABICHEM Senior Experts invited all participants to use the EU CBRN CoE Project 65 Handbook in “Chemical and Biological Waste Management” and to promote its circulation in the Central Asia Region in several languages, namely, English, Russian, Mongolian, Pashto, Dari and Urdu.
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