Addressing members and supporters at the event on 29 June at The Belfry Hotel near Sutton Coldfield, Mr Coulson said the sector had made huge progress and “weathered many storms” over the past 20 years. From five members in 2001, the association now had more than 120.
Looking ahead, he warned that the sector would face a challenge when biomass subsidies came to an end, with biomass representing a significant outlet for the wood recycling sector.
Also speaking at the anniversary event, Georgina Collins, director of regulated industry at the Environment Agency, discussed the future regulatory landscape in a video address.
She pointed to electronic waste tracking and reform of the waste carrier, broker, dealer registration system in England as examples of regulatory changes on the horizon for the waste sector.
The conference also looked at the issue of mental welfare with an inspiring talk from Pete Watts of WRA member Veolia about his experience of facing adversity after developing a spinal injury. Pete is now raising money for the Spinal Injuries Association, to which the WRA made a donation.
After the conference, delegates were invited to a special celebratory drinks reception and BBQ with mini golf, during which the Association thanked departing PR and communications lead Gayle Whittaker for her hard work over the last seven years and WRA members for their ongoing support. Gayle is succeeded by former letsrecycle.com journalist, Caelia Quinault and Erica Malkin.