oikos Vienna

students for sustainable economics and management

CEE Meeting Day 3 – „The best waste is avoided waste“

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10626447_475059065952645_423850433764639479_nIt was a very productive Friday at the oikos CEE meeting in Vienna which began with a wonderful healthy breakfast at the hostel – not to forget the sweet bread and coffee which I particularly enjoyed. After the breakfast we headed to the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU – Vienna University of Economics & Business) where we were inspired by the brilliant lecture on “waste management” given by Mr. Benjamin Steuer (Circular Economy Researcher, WU).

He enlightened us on how to convert the dangerous toxic waste into valuable energy resource which we then got to observe in action a bit later in the day, but also the hazards of how this is done by an informal e-waste recycling industry in China. Following the lecture, I took part in the oikos alumni meeting led by Ms. Anna Hofmann, that focused mainly on brainstorming on the various ways through which we could bring the oikos alumni to contribute to the local chapters through active collaboration with innovative ways such as home-coming events, oikos retreats and organizing meetings, workshops and video-conferencing for inter-club colorations.

12004764_475059022619316_5274627991235420332_nAfter a delicious lunch, we all had a pleasant walk to the train station to catch a train to the municipal department Die 48er waste management factory which served as a starting point for our waste management tour. The tour was aimed to give us a practical understanding of the lecture that was held earlier. The tour guide explained us the whole waste management processing system like how they convert waste (that smells really bad!) to bio-gas through the bio-mass incineration process.

The guide, an engineer in the waste management field, was patient enough to answer the many questions posed by the curious oikos members. Overall the tour enhanced our knowledge on waste handling – „The best waste is avoided waste“, as our guide put it – and how the municipality is collecting and categorizing organic waste into kitchen scrap, gardens trimming waste and forest waste. These wastes are then later converted into bio energies in the form of bio-gas, soil enriching compost fertilizers, nitrate content for agriculture, which improves fertilization and plant health. Thus it clearly proves that the bio-gas plant is functioning in a sustainable manner, helping to eradicate 144,000 tons of carbon-dioxide annually and avoiding the risk of transmission of BSE diseases from animals to humans.

11954597_475058209286064_2123043942232888755_nAs the evening approached, we all gathered in the Stadtpark and played various team building activities such as charades. It was fun to enact a particular word with the appropriate sign language so others could guess it right! The day concluded with a dinner at Inigo, a restaurant project of a local NGO that reinserts longterm unemployed people into working life. Last but definitely not the least we closed the day with an amazing party at the club.

It was a totally enriching experience for me personally as I had the opportunity to interact and build my network with other oikos members and clubs including Austria, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Georgia. To conclude, I made a lot of friends while learning a lot on circular economy and look forward for more such gatherings.

By Meeran, oikos Prague

For more pictures of the CEE meeting check on Facebook.

The oikos Vienna CEE Meeting Team wants to thank its sponsors:

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