His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima attended a state visit to Slovakia from 7 to 9 March. The three-day programme included a Business Forum on the circular economy, waste management and soil remediation. Our TAUW experts Martin Doeswijk (Director Soil and Groundwater) and Guido van de Coterlet (Senior Project Manager for Hazardous Wastes and Contaminated Land) were invited to share their knowledge and experience.
One of the problems that Slovakia faces is the legacy of environmental pollution that has been neglected for many years. There are major concerns about contamination from the Vrakuňa landfill site. The landfill has been leaking toxic substances into the soil and groundwater for more than 30 years and thus poses a serious threat to , the most important drinking water reservoir in Central Europe. Zuzana Čaputová, the President of Slovakia, is seeking partners to find a solution: “As part of the Dutch-Slovakian Business Forum, we have created space for the exchange of ideas and to develop partnerships to deal with environmental pollution.”
During their visit, the TAUW experts Martin Doeswijk and Guido van de Coterlet gave a presentation and workshop on the remediation of Vrakuňa in partnership with experts from Rijkswaterstaat (Co Molenaar) and Deltares (Sophie Moinier). They covered topics including communication strategy, setting up an international working group, remediation strategies, decision making and implementation. Following the workshop, a joint declaration on the Vrakuňa landfill was signed on 8 March 2023 in Bratislava with the workshop participants. The team shared the results of the workshop to the King, Queen and President during the reception that followed after the workshop. King Willem-Alexander will bring the results of the workshop to the UN 2023 Water Conference, where he will give a speech. The conference will take place from 22-24 March at the UN headquarters in New York. The results of the workshop and the joint declaration will also be presented.