Increasing urban population and industrialization are the key factors causing serious global environmental problems including increased solid waste generation, decreased soil quality, inadequate nutrient recycling, and increased emission of greenhouse gases. Similar situation is faced in densely populated Hong Kong which generates over 10,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day, of which 35% is food waste. Landfilling remains the main treatment technology which has additional environmental consequences. All these issues are interlinked and therefore there is a pressing need to develop integrated biotechnological approaches which allow efficient (bio)organic waste conversions for production of chemicals, materials, energy and food to provide greater profitability and environmental sustainability. However, current situation of such technologies overall in Asia including Hong Kong is not very appealing and technologies are not well integrated to achieve the goal of sustainability. Therefore, SBM 2021 creates a timely platform to bring successful case studies and research innovations from developed and developing countries and devise strategies for waste management industry which is expected to face a huge transition with more business opportunities.
In the past, our four international conferences, ICSWHK 2011, ICSWHK 2013, ICSWHK 2015 and BioWCHK 2016 have provided a vibrant interactive platform for exchanging expertise. Following the huge success of these conferences, SBM 2021 with its special focus on biological waste management through integrated approaches will further provide impetus to the available and future technologies through critical evaluation. The outcome will have immense benefit to Hong Kong, Asia-Pacific partners and Western countries through knowledge exchange, fostering of collaborations and development of appropriate waste management technologies.