On May 05th, SMART WASTE partner Kolding Municipality received a visit of Ms Christel Schaldemose, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Denmark, accompanied by a group of local politicians, among them a leading candidate for the 2021 local elections. The visit request came from the MEP, stressing her keen interest in hearing about SMART WASTE in general as well as Kolding’s particular role and current project results.

Initially, Kolding presented the SMART WASTE project – its aims and ambitions as well as milestones and activities, highlighting the way in which the project supports the municipality’s visions, policies and strategies. It was followed by a presentation of the political instrument that Kolding is working with within the project – Waste Management Plan 2014-2024, the local Waste Management Plan.

By summer 2022, a new waste management plan is to be completed, and in the end of 2020, the work on the new plan commenced. Working with SMART WASTE concurrently with the development of the new plan gives Kolding a unique opportunity to feed SMART WASTE learning and inspiration directly into the ongoing analysis and development activities. Examples of using the lessons learned were presented to the politicians in order to give them an idea how SMART WASTE could be beneficial for project partners and their respective political instruments, in this case the local Waste Management Plan. In addition, the visit allowed Kolding to present some of the municipality’s earlier innovations on the field of waste management, giving the visiting politicians an idea about what (eco)innovations in waste management (the SMART WASTE tagline) could be.

Following the meeting, the Danish MEP published a post about the visit on her Facebook profile mentioning SMART WASTE and stressing the following: “It’s great to see how the municipality of Kolding is working ambitiously turning smart green buzzwords into reality. Super inspiring.”

The date of the visit had an ideal timing, as the Covid-19 reopening of the Danish society and workplaces was just far enough ahead to allow for a physical meeting. The meeting took place in the Bronze Hall (Bronzehallen), Kolding’s unique platform for several circular economy-related activities1.

To summarise, being the host of this visit allowed Kolding to share overall SMART WASTE project goals and internal partner’s goals as well as to highlight some of the advantages and innovations in waste management that SMART WASTE is aiming to realise within the partners’ territories.