A summary of the very latest LIFE SMART Waste project news.

December 2015

In this update: 'Hub' development, a stakeholder workshop in Glasgow, news from Slovenia and more ...

SEPA's LIFE SMART Waste project team
Welcome to our first project newsletter

We are very pleased to present the first LIFE SMART Waste project e-newsletter. Our goal is to keep you informed with news of our activity, events and publications throughout the life of the project.
Whether you are an environmental regulator, enforcement agency, policy maker, waste industry specialist or an interested citizen, we hope to illustrate how we are striving to achieve the LIFE SMART Waste project objectives and to deliver the expected outcomes.
The LIFE SMART Waste project is led by SEPA working in partnership with Natural Resources Wales, ACR+ and Brussels Institute for Management of the Environment (IBGE-BIM) to demonstrate innovative ways of understanding, tackling and reducing waste-related crime. The project newsletter will help us to provide updates on the progress we are making in developing, testing and applying new and modern ways of working, and also in demonstrating direct interventions to assess and target illegality in waste streams.
In the first issue, amongst other news, we are pleased to announce the publication of our first digital project brochure, to provide updates on the development of our collaborative 'Hub' and information gathering strategy, and to provide news of our engagement with key external stakeholders in the UK and beyond.
We hope that you find our e-newsletter a useful supplement to the information available on our project website and we would welcome your feedback via our project mailbox.
First project brochure publication
LIFE SMART Waste project brochure
We have published the first in a series of LIFE SMART Waste digital brochures to help stakeholders understand how this innovative pan-European partnership is targeting waste-related crime in Europe.
The first digital brochure provides background information on the project with an update on initial progress and is available in English (the primary language for core project work), French, Dutch, German and Welsh to reflect the languages of SEPA’s associated beneficiaries.
Details of all LIFE SMART Waste publications to date are available online.
Ethernet cables
Update on the LIFE SMART Waste 'Hub'

We are continuing to work with our LIFE SMART Waste project partners to deliver an innovative ‘Hub’ that will allow participants throughout Europe to collaboratively build and develop an in-depth understanding of the waste industry, its markets and waste flows for challenging waste streams. This will enable participating enforcement agencies, with varied remits, to share and evaluate information and so identify areas of vulnerability which could be subject to criminal activities.
The Hub will establish online communities of interest that identify and develop prevention and intervention responses to waste crime in a secure, virtual environment that transcends traditional boundaries and borders.  Participants will be given the freedom to engage in open debate via the Hub and will be encouraged to act as a single analytical team contributing to the production of strategic waste crime information products.
To promote the desired levels of collaboration, the Hub will provide an online toolkit and such useful features as: a waste wiki; e-workshop facilities; instant messaging; and web-conferencing functions.
The hub has been designed and procurement is underway.   We will commence the internal deployment of the system in early 2016 as a precursor to an extensive phase of testing and customisation by project partners.
For more information on the LIFE SMART Waste project, visit the project website.
SEPA representative
Information gathering strategy completed

We have achieved a key project milestone for Stage 1 of the LIFE SMART Waste project by completing the development of the project’s information gathering strategy.
Information is the project’s most valuable asset and ensuring that we generate, handle and use our information effectively will be critical to the success of the project. The purpose of the strategy is to outline the information needs of the LIFE SMART Waste project. It provides a high level vision of the project’s information collection and articulates research and analysis approaches to deliver valuable and usable information on waste crime. The strategy will also support the design and deployment of lasting and effective waste crime prevention and intervention strategies.
For more information on the LIFE SMART Waste project, visit the project website.
LIFE SMART Waste stakeholder workshop
Stakeholder workshop in Glasgow, August 2015

A collaborative stakeholder workshop for the LIFE SMART Waste project was held in Glasgow on 26 August 2015 focusing on two key project themes - barriers to joint working and designing effective interventions.

The workshop was attended by environmental authorities in the UK and Ireland, law enforcement, public sector agencies and industry and there was a real appetite for partnership working amongst participants.  Barriers to joint working were identified but were not considered to be insurmountable. These included: difficulties in sharing data and information; lack of knowledge and understanding of the roles, powers and responsibilities of partner organisations; and unaligned, often fluid, organisational priorities.
Participants identified ways to overcome these barriers, including: listing the data and intelligence each organisation can and cannot share; joint training on the roles and responsibilities of partner organisations; single points of contact within organisations; and generating SMART objectives and memorandums of understanding between organisations, with senior management sign off.

In his closing comments SEPA’s Director of Operations, Calum MacDonald, highlighted the importance of sharing information and collaborating to obtain benefits for all in the fight against waste crime. He concluded by expressing the hope that all partners would be able to meet more regularly to discuss key issues. To this effect, participants will be consulted in more depth and the findings will be used to inform LIFE SMART Waste project recommendations.
For more information on the LIFE SMART Waste project, visit the project website.
Ljubljana, Slovenia
IMPEL Waste & TFS Conference in Ljubljana, September 2015

The LIFE SMART Waste project was amongst the topics considered at the three-day IMPEL TFS – Waste Conference which commenced on 30 September 2015 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The conference convened to consider the theme of “Waste Crime” and was attended by approximately 100 delegates from countries throughout Europe.
Willie Wilson (National Operations Waste & Enforcement Manager, SEPA) spoke about the LIFE SMART Waste project during his presentation on the formation of the Scottish Environmental Crime Taskforce and its adoption of the model used by Interpol’s National Environmental Security Taskforce. More detail on the LIFE SMART Waste project was given by George Hope (Unit Manager – LIFE SMART Waste, SEPA), including the collaborative nature of the project’s 'Hub' and an overview of a number of the innovative toolkits (e.g. relating to remote sensing and financial investigations) which will support regulators, inspectors and waste crime investigators. 
The conference provided a good opportunity to raise awareness of the LIFE SMART Waste project and to engage with a network of potential users and interested parties who could provide expertise and experience in key technical areas.
Potential project partners can contact the project team by e-mailing the project mailbox.