IFAT Munich 2024 took place from 13 – 17 May. However, IFAT is not just a well-known trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management, but a dynamic platform that presents solutions, creates a network and promotes knowledge. This event brings together leading representatives from politics, business and science to present innovative approaches to industrial and municipal challenges. Topics such as digitalisation, recycling, drinking water supply, climate resilience and municipal technology are in the spotlight at the trade fair.

In this inspiring environment, IFAT was the perfect occasion to get together with the Junge Gruppe (meaning: Young Group) of the German Waste Wood Association as part of a joint event. As we have already reported, the Junge Gruppe was founded in September last year. The aim of the group is to meet once or twice a year to discuss current events on the waste wood market and, above all, to offer young members a platform to efficiently expand their network.

One of the purposes of the Junge Gruppe is to better integrate the next generation into the industry. The waste wood industry is now faced with a variety of complex issues that are often difficult to understand at first glance. The meetings offer the opportunity to talk about these issues again in a relaxed atmosphere and to clarify any questions.

For this reason, Benny Wilhelm (MVV Umwelt Ressourcen) and Matthias Warnke, Director of Waste Wood, together with Simon Obert, Managing Director of the German Waste Wood Association, organised a dinner hopping bus tour following the trade fair visit in Munich. The 20 participants from the Junge Gruppe were picked up by an American school bus at the end of the trade fair and chauffeured around Munich for four hours. This included an excellent supporting programme. There were three stops along the way where the group was spoilt with delicious food. There was also a series of live musical acts. The members enjoyed good chats at various tables, rotating from time to time. Of course, the latest topics that are currently dominating the entire industry were also discussed. The focus was on market developments, which are generating many new projects in the waste wood market. Other important points included the Fuel Emissions Trading Act and how to deal with the CO2 levy, the scarce logistical capacities during the public holiday weeks in May, the use of alternative fuels in waste wood incineration and the disposal of power plant by-products such as ash.

Both events, whether IFAT or the dinner hopping tour, were definitely worth it: all participants were enthusiastic, gained many new insights and were able to exchange experiences and ideas in a relaxed atmosphere. As the Brüning Group, we were particularly pleased to support young people in this context and offer them valuable opportunities for networking and further development.