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BIR World Recycling Convention in Amsterdam: A World Recycling Convention of Milestones as BIR looks to the future

  • 24 May 2023

- First female President in BIR’s 75-year history; 
- Largest ever attendance at a BIR Convention; 
- Convention returns to BIR’s birthplace, Amsterdam; 
Membership numbers at historic high.

The Bureau of International Recycling’s (BIR) World Recycling Convention in Amsterdam (22-24 May 2023) is one for the history books. As well as celebrating BIR’s 75 years in the city of its birthplace, the focus at the event has been on a modern, connected future which puts international recycling at the heart of the circular and global economy. And leading this future is BIR’s first ever female President, Susie Burrage OBE of Recycled Products Ltd (GB), who took over the role from outgoing President Tom Bird at the organisation’s Annual General Assembly on 23 May.

BIR has much of which to be proud now and throughout its rich history,” comments Tom Bird. “As an organisation, and as an industry, we are highly adaptable, able to flex to match whatever challenge has been thrown at us. Time and again we not only bounce back, but we thrive. I am proud to have served the organization for the last four years, through one of the most difficult times in its history thanks to COVID. I am just as proud to handover my Presidency to Susie Burrage, her appointment is a testament to the inclusive nature of our ever-changing industry.”

Two new positions in post

Susie Burrage square

BIR’s new President has an exemplary pedigree. She is the fourth generation of her family in recycling and now runs Recycled Products which she founded in 2001.

Since 2016, Susie Burrage OBE has held the position of President of the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) and has been an active member of the BIR World Council of Recycling Associations. She has also been very active in EuRIC in several roles including President of the European Metal Trade & Recycling Branch and a term as EuRIC Treasurer (2016-2019).

At BIR’s October 2022 Dubai Convention she was appointed as Chair of the BIR Ambassadors Committee. In addition, Susie is an Ambassador and Board member of the Global Recycling Foundation, Patron for the Bureau of Middle East Recycling as well as board member of BIR's Non-Ferrous Metals Division.

Susie represents recyclers at international level, working with lobbyists and policymakers across a range of issues that affect the industry globally, helping them work towards favourable outcomes with raw materials from recycling becoming available across the globe. She regularly promotes the environmental benefits of recycling in the media and at conferences worldwide, highlighting the importance of recycling in achieving net-zero targets.

It is a true honour to accept my Presidency in the birthplace of BIR and at such a record-breaking convention,” says Susie Burrage. “My mission is to build on the incredible platform created by Tom Bird, the BIR Executive Committee and the secretariat under the leadership of Arnaud Brunet. My vision is to increase the volume on the environmental impact we make and showcase BIR and recycling as the sustainability-forward, innovation-rich and economically vital industry that it is.”

Dhawal Shah square

A new treasurer, Dhawal Shah of Metco Ventures LLP (IND), also stepped into his post during the Convention, taking over from Andy Wahl of TAV Holdings Inc (USA).

Dhawal also brings exceptional expertise to his new role as Treasurer for BIR. Metco Ventures is a long-standing BIR member and one of India's leading trading-brokerage houses. Dhawal has been with the company for over 25 years, and during this period, has driven the expansion of Metco‘s global footprint. He has always had a deep interest in recycling, and in the past few years has dedicated much of his time to the growth and development of the metals recycling industry in India.

Dhawal has been a member of the BIR Executive Committee and has served as Vice-President of the organisation in his capacity as the President of the Non-Ferrous Metals Division since June 2021. Prior to this, he served on the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division’s board for twelve years, first as board member representing India and then as Senior Vice-President. He is also Senior Vice-President of the Materials Recycling Association of India, and also serves on the Metals Committee of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), which is India’s largest trade & policy advocacy organisation.

I am delighted to accept the position as Treasurer for BIR at such an exciting time in its history,” comments Dhawal. “The future is ours to have, as we look to represent the widest reaches of our industry from the point of collection to the transformation into useable materials. With my new task, I am intent on ensuring that BIR is financially fit and ready to take up these challenges and retell our story around the world.”

Record Numbers

Further milestones achieved at the Amsterdam Convention include the largest ever attendance at 1500 delegates (a sell-out), and the announcement that membership numbers are at an historic high of almost 1000. Two milestones which underpin the growing recognition of recycling’s commercial and reputational importance, and the vibrancy and continued growth of one of the world’s most forward-looking industries.

What a way to honour our birthday, proving what an energised, dynamic and innovative industry BIR represents,” comments Arnaud Brunet, Director General of BIR. “As an organisation and an international collective, we have tackled the tumultuous storms of the past few years together, and our focus at BIR on representation and advocacy has paid dividends, as shown in the milestone numbers we share today.”